Tips for any time:
Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.
If you are less than 17 years old, you are subject to the City of Houston’s Juvenile Curfew Law. This means you cannot be in public without an adult during certain hours of the day.
Know where you are going. If you are lost, stop — especially if you are alone. Take time to learn where you are and know how to get where you want to go. If you have a map, look at it. If you have a phone, use it to call someone you trust to guide you, or use the GPS function if it is a smartphone.
If you are with a group of people, establish a landmark location where you can go if you get separated. That way, if you or another member of the group ends up alone, you can find them by going back to the landmark.
Trust your gut. If something feels wrong or scary to you — even if you don’t know why — that is your body’s way of telling you to get out of the situation. Listen to your body.
Don’t trust strangers. Do not go with anybody you don’t know. If a stranger says something like, “Your parent/guardian/teacher said you can come with me,” and this information is new to you, tell them to wait while you find a phone and call your trusted adult. And if a stranger offers you something, do not take it.
If you are in danger:
Run away. Running away from danger is the first thing you should try and the best thing to do. Get to a safe place as quickly as you can.
- A safe place could be your home, or the home of a friend, neighbor or family member.
- This could also be the nearest school, place of worship (temple/church/mosque/synagogue), hospital, doctor’s office, police station, or fire station.
- If you are alone, you cannot find a safe place, and there is nobody nearby who you trust, then go to a place that is crowded with lots of people.
If you have access to a phone, call your trusted adult. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you are stuck or trapped, stay where you are. Use your voice — or a phone if you have one — to call out for help.
If somebody touches you or grabs you without your permission, or if someone tries to hurt you:
- Tell them to let go of you. Be firm and serious.
- Run away. As soon as you are free, get away as quickly as possible. Get to a safe place, or if you cannot find one, a crowded place.
- Fight back. It is completely okay to scream, push, twist around, punch, kick, or do whatever else you can to make them let go of you. Be loud and make a scene. Don’t be afraid of hurting the person.
If you are walking down the sidewalk and you notice a car following you, turn around and run in the opposite direction. Get to a safe or crowded place.