Risk reduction

No one is immune to sexual or gender-based harassment. While the responsibility for misconduct lies clearly with the individual who commits it, members of the Harvard community should be aware of the ways we can help keep ourselves and others safe.

As individuals we can: 

  • Have a plan. Talk with your friends about your plans for the night BEFORE you go out. Do you feel like drinking? Where do you want to go? Having a clear plan ahead of time helps friends look out for one another.
  • Travel together. Make arrangements to travel with friends to minimize vulnerability. Go out as a group and come home as a group. Avoid situations in which you would be isolated with people you do not know or trust. Do not leave your friends behind. 
  • Call for help. Don’t hesitate to call for help if you’re feeling uneasy, scared, or pressured. Contact HUPD (Urgent # 617-495-1212) and/or local police if you are in immediate danger and need help.
  • Trust your intuition.  If a situation or person doesn’t seem “right” to you, trust your gut and remove yourself, if possible, from the situation.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation. Know your personal limits for alcohol consumption.
  • Open containers.  Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
  • Tell a friend. If you go out with someone you do not know well, tell a friend about your plans. Make plans to check in with someone you can rely on if you need help.  

And wherever you are, keep in mind these general safety tips:

  • Walk only in lighted areas after dark.
  • Always have extra money to get home.
  • Keep the doors to home and cars locked.
  • Have your keys and phone in your hand or easily accessible.
  • Save the HUPD telephone number in your cell phone now (617-495-1212) so it is easily accessible if you need it.
  • Call the Campus Escort Service (HUCEP) (617-494-8237) if you are uncomfortable walking home alone in the evening.