In light of a Thanksgiving weekend assault on a Charlestown woman who was walking home from the T station, Boston Police have issued the following safety tips and are encouraging people to use extra caution:
When You Are Walking
- Be aware of your surroundings—especially at night. Accept the fact that you can be a potential victim. Trust your instincts.
- Show that you are in control and walk with confidence. Be assertive—do not let anyone violate your space.
- Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you. It shows that you are paying attention and could later identify someone.
- Look around to see if someone is following you. Be observant of passing vehicles.
- Do not become distracted by talking on the cell phone or listening to an IPOD.
- Avoid walking alone late at night. Attempt to walk with people that you are familiar with or feel safe around.
When You Are Using a Motor Vehicle
- Park in a well lighted and populated area.
- Always lock your doors.
- If necessary, press the alarm on your vehicle security clicker or honk the horn.
- When you feel threatened or sense that you are being followed on the street:
- Walk into a crowd of people; ask someone if you can walk with them.
- Consider changing direction, crossing the street, or walking toward a store, restaurant or a well lighted building or house.
- Take out your cell phone and/or whistle.
- Put your keys into your hand through your knuckles in order to make a weapon.
If You Are Being Assaulted
- Believe that you may be able to scare, distract or even incapacitate the person enough to escape.
- Scream out “Fire, Police, Help or Rape” until someone assists you or the attacker flees the area.
- Avoid being controlled. Push away from your attacker. Use quick evasive movements.
- If possible, use a whistle to signal that you are being assaulted.
- When you are able, always call 9-1-1.
- Kick and scratch. Use your hands, nails, elbows, knees, legs, teeth, and head as weapons. Your primary targets of attack are the eyes, windpipe & groin.
- Use your keys as a weapon.
- Do not allow the perpetrator to take you to a secondary location.
- Consider carrying pepper spray.
Get a Good Description and File a Police Report
It is most important to get the best description of the suspect, direction of flight of the suspect and the suspect’s actions including verbal remarks. A police report needs to be filed.
FID Cards and Whistles
Obtain an FID card for Pepper Spray at the BPD Licensing Unit (Call 617-343-4425).
For whistles and other information, contact the District A-1, Community Service Office at 617-343-4627.