Personal safety plan

The Victoria Police “Student Safety in Victoria” brochure

Download the Victoria Police “Student Safety in Victoria” brochure (PDF, 2.34MB).The brochure contains vital tips regarding safety when driving, safety in your home, safety on the street, using ATMs safely, safety at University and safety on public transport.

Personal safety

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on campus. We should all have a plan of action so we are better equipped to deal with a situation that puts our safety at risk.

These following suggestions are not meant to cover all possible measures that can be used, but are a useful guide to follow.

Your personal safety plan

Having your own individual safety plan means thinking about what action you would take, should you be faced with a dangerous situation that may occur on campus.

To formulate a plan, it may help to discuss its content with Secu, work colleagues, classmates, relatives or friends. It is important that you settle on a plan of action that suits you.

Remember:

  • It is dangerous to assume that “it won't happen to me”
  • The time taken in planning ahead is time well spent
  • Feel confident and comfortable with the fact that it makes perfect sense to ask for help if your safety is put at risk
  • Develop your own list of contacts who you are comfortable with seeking advice or assistance from

Personal safety plan checklist

The following suggestions for your safety plan check list may assist you when you come to setting out your own plan of action.

  • Location of a most suitable car park. Is the area well lit?
  • Where is the nearest public transport point?
  • Is the entry/exit door I normally use to my office/study area the safest entry or exit to the building?
  • What is the safest path for me to use when walking to and from my workplace or lecture/study area? Is this pathway well lit? Does this pathway have overhanging trees or shrubs that may provide cover for other people?
  • Is there a public telephone within the vicinity?
  • Should I use the Security Escort Service? What are their contact numbers?
  • Would I feel comfortable carrying a personal alarm?
  • I have the telephone numbers of Campus Security and the local Police Station recorded in my mobile phone or telephone/address book
  • If I am confronted in my workplace or study area, is there a natural barrier (eg. desk or counter) that I can place between the assailant and myself?
  • Do I have anything in my study or work area that could be used as a weapon against me (e.g. cello tape dispenser, pen, ruler, keys)? Where is the best place to store these items?
  • What is the most convenient escape route (e.g. Exit door from my workplace or study area) or, when I'm walking on campus, where is my nearest "safe place”?
  • Is it possible to vary my times of entering or leaving my workplace or study area?
  • Do I have a good knowledge of my workplace or study environment (e.g. location of toilets or nearest public telephone)?
  • Contact telephone numbers of my network of people I can trust and contact for advice or assistance, should the need arise – friends, relatives, Security staff?

Working or studying after hours

People who work or study outside of normal office hours on campus may need to vary their personal safety plan to suit the circumstances. The following suggestions are options to consider.

  • Make sure there is someone else that you know in the building
  • Park in a well-lit area as close as possible to your workplace or study area
  • When leaving your office or study area, you may want to pre-arrange to walk with a group
  • Carry a personal alarm with you
  • Walk with a confident and purposeful stride at a steady pace
  • Have the telephone numbers of Campus Security recorded in your mobile phone or listed in your telephone/address book
  • Use only well lit pathways
  • Carry your keys in your hand for quick access to your vehicle, workplace or study area
  • If someone follows or confronts you, change directions and go to your "safe place"
  • A mobile telephone may help you feel more secure
  • Consider taking a Self Defence course

Courtesy Service

Campus Security Patrols are available to escort you to University car parks or the nearest public transport. This service is available to staff or students at the discretion of Security. To contact Security at each campus for this service, please ring:

City: (03) 9925 2051 (Business Hours) 99253895 (After Hours) or 0428 530 896 or 0408 146 063

Bundoora: (03) 9925 7599 (Business Hours) or 0407 812 857 or internal phone #6112

Brunswick: (03) 9925 9170 (Business Hours) or 0439 930 165

Your patience and consideration in utilising this service is appreciated.

Methods of Self Protection

There is no one way to protect yourself. You will need to assess the situation and then decide what suits you in the circumstances. The two basic methods of defence are:

Active Resistance is an immediate assault on your attacker. The purpose is to startle or temporarily incapacitate the other person so that you can escape. Any act of active resistance should only be used for the purpose of breaking the attackers grip and for providing a means of escape. A person can:

  • Scream loudly to attract attention
  • Strike at a vulnerable area (eyes, throat, groin)
  • Stomp on the other persons foot
  • Jab an elbow into the other persons midriff if attacked from the side or from behind
  • Activate a personal alarm close to the persons ear

Use anything you are carrying or have available to you to repel an attack and give you time to escape, keys, umbrella, handbag, backpack, a rolled up newspaper, even an item of clothing thrown over the other persons head may give you the opportunity and the time to escape. You may take any action, which can be seen as reasonable, and in proportion with the circumstances you are facing

Passive Resistance involves using your imagination to delay an unwanted advance or attack while looking for a chance to escape. Try to remain calm and talk to the other person in a calm and confident voice and chose tactics that will not inflame the situation and will leave you able to try something else if a certain approach is not working.

It must be emphasised that no single method is foolproof or is the best one in any given situation. It is important that you take advantage of these methods by receiving full training. Remember that unreported sexual attacks leave the other person to attack again; and they will. Report the matter to Campus Security, who will treat the matter in a strictly confidential way. You are the victim. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.

Incident Reporting

Safety in the community is everyone’s responsibility. If you witness any unsafe or suspicious behaviour or activity please notify security immediately. Please take the time to complete a Suspicious Observation Report Form (PDF, 1P, 18KB). This will help security in their investigation and take appropriate action to ensure everyone’s safety.

All Emergencies :Telephone: (03) 9925 3333 or email security.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

When making an emergency call try to be calm, accurate and brief.

All Emergencies: (03) 9925 3333

Security will be responsible for calling Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade, if required.

Security

City: (03) 9925 2051

Bundoora: (03) 9925 7599

Brunswick: (03) 9925 9441

Counselling Service: (03) 9925 2078

Chaplaincy: (03) 9925 2057

Health Service: (03) 9925 2297

What Should I Do?

If you find yourself in a position of confronting a person who is acting suspiciously, the following suggestions may assist you:

  • Try to remain calm
  • Be firm but polite
  • You may choose to say something like, "Can I help you?"
  • You may feel more comfortable with not approaching the person and remaining at a distance whilst taking a full description.

You should not feel obligated at this point to take the matter any further or to rectify the situation. Arrange for assistance from Security staff on extension 9925 2051.

BE AWARE...TAKE CARE

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