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Students: be proactive about safety

File story by Amy Warren

Paradise. This is a word often used to describe Hawai’i, and with all the fun in the sun on the warm sandy beaches, it’s easy for residents to let down their guard and feel at ease. It is especially easy for students in Hawai’i to be caught up in the excitement of school activities or the rush between classes, and so to ignore signals of danger in the environment. At such times, people are vulnerable.

No matter in what region in the world we live, crime exists, and the best way to avoid being a victim, according to the Honolulu Police department, is to practice preventive safety measures. To help students be pro-active in their own personal safety, police suggest the following:

¨ Accept the fact that you are vulnerable, that everyone is vulnerable.

¨ Always advise a friend or roommate of your whereabouts.

¨ Know the location of the nearest public phone. 911 is a free call.

¨ Travel with a friend whenever possible.

¨ Always walk in well-lit areas and at a steady pace.

¨ Stay away from bushes or dark corners

¨ Keep your hands out of your pockets so you are always free to defend yourself.

¨ On public transportation, sit near the driver.

In addition, HPD encourages people to practice possible responses to an attack, so that these can be recalled under the stress of a real encounter.
Role play with a friend, victim versus attacker. Simulate the conditions of everyday travel. Put on a backpack and carry an umbrella, keys or whatever you normally have with you. Remember, if you are attacked, whatever you have in your possession may be your only weapon. Also, time your responses. The quicker you are, the better.
Protecting yourself from potentially dangerous situations requires active and constant effort. You must always be alert and prepared to defend yourself. Use the resources available to you, such as the local police, campus security, and campus maps. If you can afford it, take a self-defense class. Knowing your surroundings and where to get help can save you from personal injury and may even save your life.


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