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There are hundreds of ways you can prevent crime from happening. Some of them are obvious, and some are quite subtle. All you need in many cases is a good dose of common sense and awareness. Please read this list and follow these suggestions.

Safety At Home

  • Keep your door locked and do not admit strangers into your apartment. Do not hold the building door open for someone you do not know in a local building.
  • Close curtains or blinds at night.
  • Lock windows and block sliding doors with a pole placed in the bottom track.
  • List only your first initial and last name in telephone directories, mailboxes, doors, and in other locations where your name might be posted.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Report any suspicious activities or individuals on campus to (614) 292-2121. If you are off campus, you can contact the police for non-emergencies at (614) 645-4545. For all emergencies, on and off campus, call 911.
  • Use timers on your lights if you are out of town so that it appears someone is home. Have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper while you are away.

Safety on the Phone

  • Hang up immediately if you receive an obscene phone call.
  • Never give out personal information (like your Social Security number or credit card number) on the phone.
  • Keep emergency telephone numbers near the telephone.
  • You may get phone calls asking you to buy things or give donations. It is not safe to give your credit card number on the phone. Say "NO" clearly and firmly, and hang up.

Safety when walking

  • Walk confidently. Keep your head up and look directly ahead – not at the ground. Pay attention! Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never get in a stranger's car. If someone in a car asks for directions, stand away from the car when talking to him or her. DO NOT GET IN THE CAR.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night. Call the OSU Escort Service at (614) 292-3322. The office hours vary each quarter.
  • Avoid dark streets. If you are being followed, change directions or walk into a crowded area.
  • Maintain a secure grip on your valuables or purse, preferably under your arm.
  • Be cautious when entering public places like elevators, laundry facilities, or computer labs alone. If you think someone or something looks suspicious, leave.

Safety in your car

  • Keep car windows and doors closed and locked, even when you are in the car.
  • Check the back seat every time you get in your car. When parking at night, select a place that will be lit when you return. Stay in your car if a situation does not seem safe.
  • If you lock your keys in your car on campus, or your car won't start, call public safety at (614) 292-2121, or use a blue light emergency phone.
  • Carry your keys so you can open the door to your home or car immediately.
  • If you are pulled over by a police officer, do not get out of your car unless instructed to do so.

Safety in dating

  • Remember the rules for responsible dating in the U.S. Do not physically or verbally force or coerce your date to be sexually involved with you or you could be charged with sexual assault or rape.
  • Date in groups. Do not go out alone with someone you just met. If someone asks you on a date and you wish to accept, agree to meet in a public place with other people around.
  • If someone behaves aggressively or threateningly, end the relationship. You do not need to be polite if someone makes you feel pressured, scared, or uncomfortable.

Safety in Drinking

  • You must be 21 to purchase and/or drink alcohol.
  • It is illegal to carry an open container of alcohol in public areas, like the street or in your car.
  • Do not possess illegal substance (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, heroine, etc.)
  • Do not drink alcohol and drive. You could lose your license and go to jail. You could also potentially harm yourself or someone else.
  • Some U.S. students "binge" drink, or get too drunk. This behavior can make you more vulnerable to crime and it may lead to unhealthy lifetime drinking patterns.

Personal Safety

  • In a robbery, give the robber your money, wallet, or any possession that he or she demands. Do not risk your life to protect your possessions.
  • You might hear such expressions as: "Put 'em up!"- put your hands over your head.

Protect your identity

  • Do not give anyone your social security number or credit card number.
  • Tear up credit card receipts.
  • Keep a list of all credit cards and the phone numbers of the credit card companies. Cancel a credit card when or if you notice that they are missing.

Protect Your Possessions

Most crimes involve the theft of property, and nearly one third are "crimes of opportunity." Most of these thefts are committed by fellow students, as happens on most campuses. Do not give someone the opportunity to steal your bike, wallet, purse, passport, or books.

  • Mark all of your books on the same page with a code that only you know, like your birthday (e.g., 1/17/79).
  • Do not leave your books or personal belongs in public areas like classrooms or libraries.
  • Do not leave things unattended in your car; always lock them up in your trunk.
  • Register your bike at the Department of Public Safety. Report all thefts immediately.
  • Lock bikes only to a secured bike rack, not a pole or post.

Protect Yourself and Others

  • Try to notice and remember everything you can about an assailant and the assailant's vehicle to help make a positive identification later.
  • Preserve evidence. If you are raped, don't douche or bathe. Don't wash or destroy your clothes.
  • Report an incident immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Blue light telephones placed all around campus are direct lines to the OSU Department of Public Safety.

Domestic Violence

In the United States, any form of abuse between spouses (husbands and wives), or between partners living together, is not tolerated. In general terms, this pattern of behavior is called "domestic violence." Domestic violence is defined as: violence toward or physical abuse of one's spouse or domestic partner.

There are laws against such behavior, and shelters and services exist to protect and support a spouse who is being abused, regardless of immigration status. If you or someone you know is seeking help, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following sources:

  • The Office of International Affairs (Location: Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Millikin Road; Phone: 614-292-6101; or email: oia@osu.edu) and ask to speak with an immigration coordinator.
  • Ohio State Police Department, 614-292-2525, (if on-campus) or Columbus Police Department, 614-645-4545, (if off-campus). In case of emergency, dial 911 and you will reach the appropriate Department.

Please also consider visiting these websites:

  • Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence: A social services organization, the Asian Task Force has been advocating for Asian women and families since 1987. They have a confidential 24-hour hotline and other resources.
  • FaithTrust Institute: This is a website by a coalition of groups who provide training addressing the religious and cultural issues related to abuse.
  • Laws.com: Extensive domestic violence resources.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Included on this site are sections on how to protect yourself, develop a safety plan, and learn more about public policy and law regarding domestic violence.
  • Ohio Domestic Violence Network: This site lists a local telephone help-line, and lists a number of local projects and resources.
  • Safe Horizon: Based in New York, this organization's site has some good sections on stalking, sexual assault, child advocacy, and an on-line tour of a women's shelter.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: The hotline is a telephone number (toll-free: 1-800-799-SAFE (or 1-800-799-7233), available 24 hours a day, to answer questions and respond to urgent situations. The website is available in Spanish, and also lists resources for family and friends, explanations of what abuse is, and other resources.