Join The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence, The Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) and the San Francisco Police Department to STOP THE VIOLENCE. Help us raise awareness to the tragic increase in crime and reclaim our neighborhoods. We are educating and arming our community to stay safe. We are distributing free anti-violence materials including STOP THE VIOLENCE window placards, whistles and safety information. It is time to purge the violence and bring safety back to our communities.
Our STOP THE VIOLENCE section includes:
Besides carrying your safety whistle with you when you go out following these personal safety tips can help you stay safe.
Always lock your doors Always get in the habit of locking your car and home doors no matter where you’re going.
Walk with somebody If you can walk with somebody to your car or any destination, do it. It’s always best to have someone come with you than walk it alone. Make sure that even if you walk with another person that you always keep a look out as well.
Be alert Be alert with your surroundings. Always keep an eye out for people that are around you. Act alert Acting like you are unaware can make you appear like a potential victim. Checking your cell phone, listening to music on headphones, and using electronics keeps you distracted from your surroundings. In particular, consuming alcohol can change your reaction time, cloud your judgment and reduce your ability to remain alert. Consider these factors before you head out alone or during evening hours.
Carry little cash Try and get used to using your debit or credit card. However, avoid using ATMs late at night in dark settings or alone. Never flash large amounts of cash or wear conspicuous expensive jewelry, watches or electronics. If you have a backpack, be sure that nothing valuable is in the outside pockets and wear it on the front of your body when you are on buses and trains to avoid pick-pockets. Consider carrying a second wallet that contains little cash and old ID that you can hand over if mugged.
Walk in well lit areas If you have any night classes or you find yourself outside at night, try to avoid walking through dark areas. Even if it means taking the least direct route to your destination, you should take well-lit and populous routes whenever possible. If something does happen, you will have a greater chance of seeing a way out or others may be able to witness the incident and notify police.
Never be afraid to yell If something does happen and you feel threatened for your life, never be afraid to yell out for help. Doing this may scare the attacker away; or it may grab others’ attention who can call 911 to get you the help you need. Although the temptation may be to keep quiet, getting loud quickly is an effective strategy to call attention, get help and a way to communicate that you will not remain silent.
Let Friends Know Where You Are and Who You Are With Though this may seem unnecessary, it could l save your life. If you are going out with someone you don’t know very well or if you are going somewhere alone, check in with a friend. This way, if something happens, there will be someone who can alert the police that you may be in trouble and in need of help.
Take a Self Defense Class Taking a Self Defense course may be the most important class you ever take. Learning personal self defense will always give you an additional advantage regardless of your skill level.
Pickup crime, in which victims pick up strangers and take them back home where they are robbed or worse, is on the rise in the Castro area. Here are a few tips that you might want to keep in mind when you spy a "love interest".
- Before leaving the bar have as many of your friends meet your new date.
- Use your phone's camera to snap a pic and text it to a friend.
- If you go to his place text the address to a friend.
- Once you're done and he leaves your place or you leave his place text a friend that everything is OK.
- Don't let strangers buy you drinks and don't leave yours unattended. "Roofied" drinks is one of the ways robbers are getting their victims back to their apartments.
- If you are hooking up online, consider meeting in a public place first.
- When in doubt, don't go. Trust your instincts.
Attach your whistle to your keychain, phone or bag, choosing something that you always have with you so you can easily access your whistle if a threatening situation arises. If you are walking to your car late at night with your keys in hand and a whistle attached, you can blow into the whistle to startle an attacker and attract help.
Get your whistle ready if you sense danger. Use it if you think a sudden noise may distract an attacker or attract help. If you are already under attack, use your judgement about whether the whistle will help or hurt your situation. If you see someone in trouble, blow your whistle to distract the perpetrator, giving the victim time to escape.
Call 9-1-1 when someone else is in danger.
Blow in short, sharp bursts: 3 tweets (over and over) for "SOS".
If you don't have your whistle consider yelling "FIRE". That seems to attract attention whereas yelling "help" seems to repel people from coming to your aid.
Whistles Do Work!
Here are some examples of how a safety whistle saved these people from a worse attack.
On a September night at approximately 3:15 a.m. as I was strolling the Collingwood area (having changed from my nun’s habit into just a regular guy’s jeans, tee shirt, and jacket), a white guy age 30ish in glasses and a cap approached me to demand money. I replied, “I am not carrying any money,” but he continued, “This is a stickup!” He held what I perceived to be a knife to my neck as he grabbed me from behind and on my left. My first reaction was to be a victim, but then I suddenly went into autopilot (thanks to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s recent campaign to Stop the Violence) and fished my whistle out of my right pocket and blew like crazy - not really knowing what that might do, but still blowing it away - I mean BLOWING for LIFE – racing towards Diamond Street, only to find several police squad cars arriving on the spot. I thought this was amazing timing! At the whistle’s shrill and continual sound, the attacker had dashed away in the opposite direction.
- Sister Dana Van Iquity
Tonight while walking home I was attacked by someone attempting to mug me. Having noticed him a block earlier I made sure to have my whistle in hand on my keychain. After he grabbed my back and started to punch my head I immediately started screaming and blowing the living hell our of that whistle.
The attacker quickly fled and I was able to make it to a safer intersection and call police to file a report and get an escort home.
I'm safe, just a minor bruise on my neck, a cut on my finger from my own keys, and adrenaline rushing through my veins.
The experience makes me all the more thankful to the efforts of the STV campaign and my fellow Sisters for their tireless efforts on working with the community to stop the violence.
- Sister T'Aint A Virgin
THANK YOU to the Stop the Violence and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. My safety was preserved by the whistle I had gotten from one of your events. I was at 8th Street and Howard and surprised by three young men. They boxed me in and wanted to, "Just touch up on [me] a little bit," and grabbed my hips and jacket. I couldn't get away and then remembered - luckily I had my whistle on my keys which were in my hand. I screamed, "FUCK OFF!" and then blew the whistle right in the ear of the man grabbing me. They all ran faster than lightening. PLEASE BE SAFE OUT THERE FAMILY!
- Miss Beth Bicoastal
Victim or witness to a crime: Be observant, call 9-1-1
- Report all crimes so the police can identify trouble areas.
- Get Descriptions of suspects such as height, weight, race, hair, clothing, shoes or makings such as scars or tattoos.
- Watch escape to remember direction, vehicle and license number.
- Write down details including street address and time of day. Look for witnesses. Record all details as soon as possible. If you still have your mobile phone consider leaving yourself a voice mail or memo.