Staying Safe - a guide to personal safety
Australia is generally a safe place, our political system is stable, and our crime rate is low. However, it’s best to take the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would anywhere else in the world.
Personal safety can be compromised in many situations; such as:
- Crowded Places
- Using and waiting for public transport alone after dark
- Walking alone after dark
- Pubs, Bars and Nightclubs
- ATM locations
- When home alone after dark
Being prepared and constantly aware of your surroundings can help you avoid a potentially harmful situation. We’ve put together the following safety tips.
Personal Safety Tips
In public places
- Become familiar with your surroundings in public areas.
- Keep your phone and wallet close to your body, avoid carrying your bag over just one shoulder and if possible, use a bag that closes securely.
- At concerts and events – identify the location of security personnel, decide on a meeting place with your group if you become separated and, if allowed, switch your phone to vibrate rather than off so that you have instant access in an emergency.
- In venues with low lighting, keep your belongings on your lap; dark locations make it easier for your bag to be grabbed without you noticing.
- Never try to stop a thief from taking your bag – it is better to lose a few things rather than getting injured.
Out after dark
- Always carry your mobile phone, keep it in a handy place, like your front pocket.
- Change your route every few days to avoid potential followers.
- Avoid taking shortcuts through unfamiliar places.
- When using public transport at night, sit near the driver on a bus or close to an exit when using trains.
- If you feel you are being followed, go to the nearest populated, well-lit area where you can shout or phone for help.
- Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, a loud whistle or siren that can be used to ward off predators and alert others.
In Pubs, Bars and Clubs
- Buy your own drinks and watch the bartender make or open them to avoid drink spiking. Don’t take your eyes off your glass, and don’t accept drinks from other people unless handed to you by the bartender.
- Don’t let others top up your drinks, and go for low alcohol options wherever possible. A good idea is to alternate alcoholic beverages with soft drinks or water.
- Avoid ‘shouts’ or drinking games as it is too easy to exceed your limit. You are more likely to make bad choices or get into dangerous situations when under the influence of alcohol.
- Don’t let peer pressure force you to do something outside of your comfort zone. It’s always okay to say no.
- Do not be tempted to go anywhere with a person you’ve just met, even during the daylight.
- Always close windows and lock all doors when you leave the house and when you go to sleep at night.
- Keep expensive belongings out of view from the street.
- Be suspicious of anyone that you do not know who asks to enter your home, even for maintenance reasons; always ask to see their company ID.
- Limit the amount of information you post on social media, which may lead to strangers working out where you live.
Who should I contact?
In Australia, triple zero (000) is the number to call in an emergency.
Only call Triple Zero (000) if the situation is serious or urgent, such as:
What support services are available?
It’s normal to feel upset and confused if you have had your safety compromised. It is important that you speak with someone about how you are feeling. You may choose to discuss with family, friends or a member of your local community. If none of these options are suitable, you might like to consider the following:
Most universities in Australia have a security office on campus that monitors campus grounds in person and with surveillance 24/7. You can report inappropriate behaviour or concerns and threats to the security office in person, via phone or online.
Counselling and mental health services may also be available at your chosen university to support you if you have concerns or need advice on how to deal with an incident.
Video and Phone Doctor Service
Allianz Care offer OSHC and OVHC members Doctors on Demand. This telehealth service allows you to speak to a qualified doctor 24/7 via phone or video call. Your consultation can provide information to help address injuries or online mental health support to help manage and reduce trauma.
Note: OVHC Budget Working and Budget Visitor Cover do not include coverage for video and phone doctors.
24-hour assistance helpline
If you have been injured in an accident or suffering from a medical concern, you can call the Allianz Care 24-hour assistance helpline on 1800 814 781.
We can help you:
In addition, the following organisations are available 24/7 to offer help and advice on personal safety issues:
- Crimestoppers 1800 333 00
- Victim of Crime Counselling & Support Services 1300 139 703
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732