Personal safety

Everyone has the right to feel safe. There are things you can do for the safety of yourself and others, including on and off-campus, and online.

Personal safety tips

These simple tips can help you be safer at home and when you're out.

Download the  Personal Safety fact sheet.

On campus

  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended.
  • Keep the number for campus Security in your phone.
  • When leaving campus late, walk with friends or call a Security Escort to walk with you.
  • If you need assistance on campus call Security.
  • Park in the university car park.
  • Use the after-hours VU Shuttle Bus to the train station.
  • Download the VUSafe app.

Using transport

  • In a car, wear a seatbelt.
  • Check public transport timetables in advance.
  • At night sit nearest to the driver.
  • Be aware of emergency assistance buttons.
  • If you feel uncomfortable get up and move.
  • Avoid isolated stops.
  • If travelling alone, let someone know your travel schedule.
  • Keep your belongings close to you.

In public

  • Keep your belongings out of sight, e.g. don’t have you phone visible in your back pocket or leave your bag unzipped.
  • Be aware of the people around you.
  • Leave valuables at home, e.g. your passport.
  • Don’t give out personal information.
  • Be alert and aware, e.g. look where you walk, not at your phone.
  • Keep your phone with you, or have money or a phone card.
  • Notice safety features, CCTV cameras and police or security staff.
  • Pay attention, if you have headphones in keep the volume low.
  • Download a personal safety app, such as bSafe.

Going out at night

  • Plan your trip there and home, e.g. book a taxi or uber in advance, or look up the public transport timetable.
  • Never hitch hike or take a ride from a stranger.
  • Have safety precautions ready to use, such as a whistle and light with you, or in an app.
  • Travel in a group if you can.
  • Use footpaths, crossings, and stick to well-lit areas.
  • If you feel threatened by someone, tell them to stop loudly or ask someone else for assistance.

At home

  • Keep windows and doors locked, especially at night.
  • Don’t open the door for strangers.
  • Leave a light on when out at night, in particular a sensor light.
  • Be fire safe, install smoke detectors and develop a fire escape plan.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Have a neighbour check your mail if you’re away.
  • Don’t hide a key outside the house.
  • Keep valuables out of view from outside your home, including packaging from expensive items in rubbish bins.
  • Install an alarm or get a dog to deter intruders.

What to do

Immediate assistance

If you or someone you know feels their immediate personal safety in threatened, you should call for help as soon as possible.

  • On campus – Security 9919 6666 (24/7).
  • Off campus – Police & Ambulance 000 (Triple Zero).

Report

If you or someone you know has concerns about safety or has experienced an incident where they felt unsafe, you should report it.

  • On campus – Security 9919 4999 (24/7).
  • Off campus – Police, look up your local police online.

Helping others

Remember safety first. Help only if it is safe to do so.

If you see something concerning there are things you can do to help:

  • ask the person if they are OK or they need help
  • draw attention to the situation, for example tell a threatening person to stop, or bring their behaviour to other people’s attention
  • seek assistance from others, especially staff, security or police
  • call for help, emergency services (000) or security on campus (9919 6666).

External resources about helping others

Online personal safety

Remember these online safety tips:

  • protect your passwords and account information
  • don’t post your personal information, including your address, email address, phone number or bank account details
  • think carefully about any photos you put online, they can be seen and downloaded by others
  • be careful about befriending or meeting people online
  • think before you download anything, only download from reputable sources
  • keep your internet security up to date.

External resources about online safety