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Back To School Tips from Refuse To Be A Victim

Our Refuse To Be A Victim® program was created in 1993 to help people of all ages take a proactive role in their personal safety by developing strategies that minimize their risk of victimization in a variety of everyday situations. Hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials across the country have implemented Refuse To Be A Victim into their crime prevention and community policing initiatives to help people creating personalized safety plans.

With summer winding to a close and tens of millions of children across the country starting a new year of school, here are some Refuse To Be A Victim back to school tips:


  • Think twice about putting your child’s name on his or her backpack or other belongings.  Strangers may see this and trick your child into thinking they know them, helping them get closer to your child.  Establish a code word with your child to identify a person as a trusted adult, and tell them you will never have anyone pick them up from school without giving them this word.

  • School bumper stickers and family decals are cute, but they could also be giving clues to criminals.  If you have a sticker with your child’s school and what sport they play, it’s very easy to figure out where your child will be and at what time!

  • If your child walks to school, ensure they always walk with a buddy.  Map out the route they take and make sure they understand to not take shortcuts or other routes unless they let you know first.

  • Avoid sending your children to school with valuables, but tell them that they should never risk being harmed in order to keep their personal possessions.  Items such as their phone, calculator, jewelry, etc. can be replaced and they should hand it over without resistance, and then tell the proper authorities about the incident as soon as possible.

  • Discuss Internet safety with your children. Explain to them how nothing can truly be deleted from the Internet and they should assume that anyone can see what they post.  Monitor their Internet activity and have passwords to all of their accounts.
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