Risk Reduction is defined as actively taking steps to reduce the likelihood a specific behavior of concern will happen. Whereas prevention strategies focus on not committing a behavior or intervening when a behavior occurs, risk reduction strategies focus on making decisions that increase personal safety and the safety of others.
Risk reduction strategies may include the psychological (trusting your instincts or learning to be assertive), the physical (walking in groups or taking self-defense classes), the observational (being alert to your surroundings or communicating your limits in a given situation), or the practical (carrying a whistle or never opening your door to strangers).
As part of the Safe Northeast campaign, the Northeast State Police Department has identified the following safety tips concerning campus access and sexual violence risk reduction:
- Understand which behaviors constitute sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and consent. Most incidents occur between people who know each other.
- Sign up for the e2Campus Mobile Alert System to receive campus-wide emergency alerts on your cell phone and via email. Registration is available on the front page of the Northeast State web site as well.
- Program the Northeast State Police Department emergency cell number (423.677.7927) in your phone; keep your cell phone handy and make sure it is charged.
- Review the College's After Hours Building Access policy and notify the Northeast State Police Department when you arrive on campus after hours or when the College is closed. Students should obtain an After Hours Building Access Pass from the appropriate academic dean or supervisor to present to Campus Police.
- Know the location of Campus Emergency Phones at the Blountville, Elizabethton, and Bristol campuses. At Blountville, parking lot emergency telephones are located on the North and East side of campus. At Elizabethton, a parking lot emergency telephone is located at the end of the sidewalk leading into the main parking lot. At Bristol, emergency telephones are located in the stairwells on each floor of the building.
- Have your vehicle hangtag properly displayed while on any Northeast State teaching site.
- Lock your vehicle.
- Do not post signs on your car saying where you are or when you will return.
- Walk with a friend to your vehicle. Always use the buddy system on and off campus when at events.
- Have your car key in your hand as you walk to your vehicle.
- Ask Campus Police or other staff members to escort you to your vehicle after dark.
- Check underneath and inside your vehicle before entering.
- Walk in areas that are well traveled and lit.
- Make it tough for someone to take you by surprise; don't wear headphones or talk/text on your phone; be alert to your surroundings.
- Head toward an occupied building or crowds and notify the Northeast State Police Department at 423.677.7927 (emergency cell) or other security/law enforcement (9-1-1) if you feel you are being followed.
- Do not leave your office unattended or unlocked.
- Post office hours only on your office door, not your temporary location or personal notes for others.
- Mark, photograph, or maintain a list of personal property so you can identify it if stolen.
- Don't leave any valuables (technology, passwords, books, purses, backpacks, etc.) unattended.
- Lock, log off, or shut down your computers when leaving the office.
- Encourage others to Report Behaviors of Concern.
- Trust your instincts! If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, notify the Northeast State Police Department at 423.677.7927 (emergency cell).
Please visit the following resource links for more information on risk reduction strategies:
Basler Library Research Materials
Cornell College's Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Strategies
Crisis Center, Inc.
Eastern Illinois University's Risk Reduction Strategies
The National Domestic Violence Hotline's Safety Planning
Oregon State's Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Strategies
PreventConnect National Online Project
RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
The University of the South's Sexual Violence Risk Reduction Tips
Women's Self Defense Federation