Risk Reduction

Victims are NEVER to blame for a crime that is committed against them

The following suggestions are strategies students can use to decrease the risk of being a victim of a crime. However, these are not prevention strategies, they are reduction strategies. Only those refusing to commit crimes can stop sexual violence from occurring.

  • Understand what resources are available to you (taxis, DPS, sober drivers) in the event you feel unsafe or need assistance.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and who you are with. Always travel with a companion or group when possible. If you are going out, know your location.
  • Have multiple exit strategies: talk with your friends about your plans and intentions BEFORE going out so that if something changes from the plan, you have planned options.
  • Trust your gut: if you feel as if you are in a bad situation, trust your instincts. Try to find a way to leave the situation. Consider calling or texting a trusted friend or make up an excuse to leave.
  • If you are walking or staying late in a building at a time you feel vulnerable, let someone know where you are or ask someone to be with you. Do not hesitate to call the Southeast Missouri State Department of Public Safety on campus to let them know where you will be and what time you anticipate leaving, or to request an escort.
  • Use the lighted safety corridors when walking through campus, especially after dark. Look for the Emergency Call Boxes with the blue lights throughout campus. These provide a direct link to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Create a safety plan. If you are concerned for your ongoing safety, it can be worthwhile to create a safety plan. Safety planning is about finding ways to be safe in the present while planning for your future safety as well.
  • Be careful about posting your location. Many social media sites, like Facebook and Tinder, use geolocation to publicly share your location. Consider disabling this function and reviewing other social media settings.
  • Keep your personal items secure. Lock your room door and windows when you’re asleep and when you leave the room. If people prop open exterior doors to the residence hall, tell Residence Life staff or Department of Public Safety officers.
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times. Do not leave valuables in your car, and keep personal items out of view.
  • When drinking, be aware of what you are drinking and how much you are consuming. Remember that perpetrators often use alcohol and other substances to incapacitate their victims.
  • Be an active and engaged bystander. This means being a good friend and stranger. If you see someone that is in a risky situation, help them.


(573) 986-6899
Dearmont B1

Campus Violence Prevention Program
One University Plaza, MS 3375
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701