SF DA Kamala Harris' take on crime

November 10, 2009 3:40:54 PM PST
San Francisco's first female DA on how women at home can play an active role in keeping their family safe.

Five tips on how women can be smart on crime

  1. Know the Net. The Internet is a window into much of the best of what humankind has to offer - you can access the world's great libraries at a click - but it is also a window into some of the worst of what humankind has to offer. Tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, of sexual predators have been found to use social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook. Always be on guard and exercise common sense.

  2. Keep your personal information personal. Never provide any personal, bank account or credit card, information over the telephone, unless you have a trusted business relationship with the person or company, and you have initiated the telephone call. Reduce the amount of your personal information in circulation, and limit what you carry in your wallet.

  3. If he abuses you, leave. Far too often, victims of abuse do not leave the relationship, even after a severe beating or after a batterer is arrested and incarcerated for the crime. Perpetrators of domestic violence will almost certainly strike again, and often the level of violence escalates. If your partner hits you it's time to call the police and leave, no matter how difficult that may be.

  4. Know where you are. If you are walking to your car in a parking lot or nearing your front door, carry your keys in your hand so that you don't have to fumble around in your purse. If you're at an ATM, don't count your money at the machine. If a stranger comes to your door, don't let them in. The bottom line:, know your surroundings and trust your instincts.

  5. Get involved. Strong healthy communities are the best protection against crime. Get to know your neighbors and join or start a neighborhood association. Keep your kids in school, and support programs that direct young people into positive activities and help them lead productive lives. The safer your community, the safer you will be.

Five tips on how teenagers can be smart on crime

  1. Know the Net. The internet is a window into much of the best of what humankind has to offer - you can access the world's great libraries at a click - but it is also a window into some of the worst of what humankind has to offer. Tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, of sexual predators have been found to use social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook.

  2. Driving does not mix with drinking or drugs. It is believed that 60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol risks your life and the lives of others - and impaired drivers face severe legal consequences. And always remember if you are under 21 you are breaking the law if you have any amount of alcohol in your body.

  3. Abuse = end. Teen dating violence is on the rise across the nation. A recently conducted national survey found roughly 1 in 10 female high school students and about 1 in 11 male students reported having been purposely hit, slapped, or physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year. Perpetrators of teen dating violence will almost certainly strike again, and often the level of violence escalates. If your boyfriend or girlfriend hits you, call the police and end the relationship.

  4. Remember the "buddy system." You may not be in elementary school anymore, but one of the first lessons you learned growing up still holds true in your teenage years. Whether you plan on going to the mall, the movies, or a night at the amusement park, go with friends - and look out for one another.

  5. Parents need to know. While every teenager craves independence, remember that your parents are still responsible for your wellbeing - and they care about your safety as much as anyone. If you're going out with friends, let your parents know where you're going and when you'll be back. A little communication can make a big difference in keeping teens safe.

About Kamala Harris:

Kamala Harris has pioneered innovative programs for change in S.F.-from cracking down on parents of truant children, who are statistically more likely to become hardened criminals than kids who attend school regularly, to her work with non-violent first time offenders in the Back on Track program, which has dramatically reduced recidivism rates in SF and has been chosen as a National Model of Justice.

Public safety is a non-partisan issue-everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities and with SMART ON CRIME Harris is providing the everyday person with the tools they need to take an active role in assuring that their family, neighborhood and community at large are as safe as they can be.

Kamala Harris is creating new solutions to old problems and debunking myths about crime and the criminal justice system along the way.

Ms. Harris is the first woman to hold the office of District Attorney in San Francisco History and the first African American woman in California to hold the office.

For more information on "Smart on Crime" and Ms. Harris, go to www.kamalaharris.org


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