Secure Your Personal Safety
"If personal safety is an issue, or if you've been with an abusive partner, you need to take extra steps," says Lesley Ackrill. "Get an unlisted phone number, install an external security system, and make certain that your exterior door has a dead-bolt lock, a chain lock, and a peep hole. And if you're being harassed, get a restraining order."
Many women are afraid to report harassment to police because of shame or fear. If your ex-husband was abusive and he starts coming around, don't minimize the situation. "You must report it to the police every single time," Ackrill insists. If you're being harassed, it's also important to have someone you know check in with you when you leave the house and when you return.
Heinrichs suggests that people who are concerned about an intruder create a "safe room" in their home or apartment. Most people choose the master bedroom because of its proximity to the children's rooms. Be sure that the door to the room has the same safety features as your external doors and that there is always a telephone or cell phone inside the room.
Protect Yourself in an Apartment
Apartment buildings differ from single dwellings in many ways. From a security standpoint, the most important difference is access. "One person opens the door and 10 people can walk in," explains Levison. Then there's the anonymity of apartment life. A stranger in the building is not likely to raise suspicion. Patio doors pose another threat to apartment security. "People either don't shut them or don't lock them," he explains. "Just because they're 21 floors up doesn't mean that no one can break-in. The pattern is to enter the first apartment through the front door