Rape & Assault Are Often Indoor Crimes

Society tends to view rape as a crime that occurs outside the home, in obscure alleys and parks, in the corners of deserted parking lots, in cars hidden by the dark of night.

In fact, three out of five rapes and one-third of all aggravated and simple assaults occur during an illegal entry into a home or other building, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

These statistics, plus the fact that roughly half of all burglaries occur during the daytime, point up the need to exercise caution regardless of where we are and what time of day it is.

What can you do to lessen the likelihood of rape or assault in your home? Perhaps, most importantly, keep doors locked when you're in the house, regardless of the time of day. This is especially important for women who are home alone or with small children.

If you're outside, be wary of strangers who come onto your property unannounced. Don't feel foolish about going inside if you see someone you don't know approaching you. You can always go back out after you've ascertained the purpose of their visit, from behind your locked door.

Keep garage doors shut when the garage is not in use. Intruders can gain entry to the house through the open door of an attached garage, or hide in waiting inside an automobile. At the very least, an open garage door makes it easy for somebody to steal something without you noticing it.

While it's been said many times before, it's worth repeating: never allow a service person from a local utility or any other business into your house without showing you proper identification. Don't rely on appearances. If you have the slightest suspicion that something's amiss, call the person's employer for verification before you open the door. This is especially important if the service call wasn't scheduled in advance.

Finally, if your alarm system isn't equipped with a panic button, talk to your security dealer about having one installed. Panic buttons transmit an alert directly to your alarm monitoring service when you hit them and signal that police should be summoned to your home immediately. Consider having a panic button installed both at the entrance of the house and near the sleeping quarters. Wireless devices are great for around the house and yard.