We think its really important for all residents to feel safe and secure in Res, at Uni, and when you are out. The Monash University Safer Community Unit has some tips to help you manage your personal safety. You may also like to check out links to some of these two sites:
In order to maximise your personal safety, it is recommended you take the following actions:
Safety in Halls
- Lock windows and doors when leaving your room.
- On ground floor rooms, if you have glass doors keep property such as laptops, wallets, purses, handbags, mobile phone and other valuable items out of view.
- Don’t let people into your room unless you know them.
Safety Off Campus
- Walk confidently and be aware of your surroundings. Take notice of street names.
- Leave one ear unplugged when listening to devices so you can be aware of other noises around you (cars, footsteps, sirens)
- Bags and handbags should be carried close to you.
- Be wary of people approaching you asking for directions/money. Keep a safe distance and be aware of your surroundings.
- Complain loudly or call for help if you are being harassed.
- At night, where possible, keep to well- lit streets and major thoroughfares.
Safety At University
- Be familiar with the layout of the campus, pathways and exits.
- Immediately contact a staff member or call for help if you observe suspicious or threatening behaviour.
- Move away from threatening behaviour and seek help.
- If you another person’s behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable, threatened, concerned or intimidated contact a staff member or the Safer Community Unit.
- Don’t leave valuables such as wallets, laptops or mobile phones unattended.
Safety at Venues
- Stay with your friends.
- Buy your own drinks* – that way you know what you are drinking and can keep track of how much you have had to drink (*see advice on drink spiking)
- Use cloak rooms, lockers or other secure compartments at venues to store your personal belongings.
- Don’t leave bags unattended. Group bags together and get a friend to watch them if you need to leave them temporarily unattended.
- When leaving a venue try and leave with friends or let your friends know you are leaving, who you are leaving with and where you are going.
- Consider making arrangements for you to contact someone or for someone to contact your when you arrive safely at your destination.
- Take care of yourself and of your friends.
Safety using ATMs
- Use an ATM in a busy place and at night in a well-lit area where possible.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the other people around you.
- Don’t withdraw more money than you need.
- Don’t count your money in front of others.
- Always put your card and money into your wallet/purse before walking away from the ATM.
- Don’t keep your PIN in your wallet/purse.
Safety with Public Transport/Taxis
- Try to book a taxi rather than hailing one from the street.
- Take note of taxi company and driver number/details.
- Sit in the back of the taxi.
- On public transport sit in the first carriages or on buses close to the driver.
- If you are harassed complain loudly and draw-attention to yourself to advise others of your situation.
- If you hear someone that may need assistance, alert the driver and/or contact police on 000.
Safety on the internet and over the phone
- Do not share personal details (marital status; work hours; place of employment; bank details; course of study) over the phone or in posts on social media or via email.
- Review your personal settings on social media accounts.
- Do not share passwords to social media or email accounts with others. Change passwords regularly.
- Do not share passwords to your laptop. If allowing a friend to use your laptop, log them in as a Guest User.
- Do not post personal information on social media sites.
- Think carefully about the photos you post. Do not “tag” people in photos, especially without their permission.
A “spiked drink” means that alcohol or drugs have been added to someone’s drink without their knowledge or approval. Any drink can be spiked, including soft drinks, juice, water or alcohol. If a person is a victim of a spiked drink, they are vulnerable to sexual assault, robbery and other harmful actions.
Keep track of your drinks
Sometimes people think they have been “spiked” when really they have had more alcoholic drinks than they thought. Be aware of the number of alcohol drinks you are consuming. Drinks can be spiked through the addition of more alcohol than you have requested, for example double or triple shots or the addition of tasteless alcohol. It is important to be alert to situations where your drink could be altered without your permission:
- Never accept drinks from strangers.
- Never leave drinks unattended, for example when you go to the dance floor, the toilet or become involved in a conversation.
- If someone offers you a drink, go with them to the bar or the place where the alcohol is being served.
- Make sure you can see the drink being poured or opened.
- Avoid sharing drinks.
Do not isolate yourself
If you are on your own in a bar or club and feel “out of it”:
- Phone someone you trust.
- Seek assistance from venue staff.
- Do not attempt to leave on your own.
- Do not isolate yourself from friends or staff by going to the toilets alone.
- Remember that it could be unsafe to go home alone or with someone you have just met.
Look after your friends
Going out with trusted friends and looking out for each other is a good way of staying safe:
- Let your friends know you are leaving when you are finished for the night.
- If you see a friend leaving with someone new, see if they are okay.
- Thank your friend for being the ‘designated’ driver and offer to take a turn next time.
- If possible, use a supervised taxi rank and travel together splitting the cost.
- Walk in a group.
- Keep to main streets and well-lit areas.
- Stay with a person who feels unwell and get them to a safe place.
- If the person is unconscious or vomiting, seek immediate medical assistance by calling an ambulance on Triple Zero ‘000’.
Take action immediately
There are a range of reactions to a spiked drink. For example, you may feel suddenly drowsy, unbalanced or “out of it”, start vomiting, lose consciousness, experience muscle spasms or have respiratory difficulties. Do not wait and hope it will pass:
- If you start to feel very confused, sick, faint or uncoordinated, tell a trusted friend or staff at the venue.
- Alert someone you trust, and ask them to take you to a safe place.
- If you are alone or cannot locate your friends, contact bar or security staff or the police.
- Tell the host of the party or bar staff if you see spiking happening.