This post has a bit of a local (Maryland) flavor to it, but the tips are sound and some resources I list below are national resources.
Use common sense and take some simple steps to significantly lower your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Here are some tips I got from a person I spoke with within the Montgomery County Police Department.
I’m just going to outline a few basics in bullet points. These are by no means exhaustive, but just some basic suggestions for personal safety:
There are any number of folks out there who teach self-defense. Usually self defense courses are offered by people who teach martial arts.
There is also an organization called RADS: Rape Aggression Defense Systems that teaches this sort of thing. They list an instructor at Montgomery College if you look under Maryland on the program locator.
The person I spoke with recommended a book titled "Gift of Fear" by Gavin deBecker. You can get a copy for under $10 here.
National Crime Prevention Council – website has lots of downloadable brochures and information on crime prevention - http://www.ncpc.org/topics
National Center for Victims of Crime – although this is for people already victimized, They wanted to pass on this link because they are an excellent resource, especially their “Get Help” series: http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbID=DB_GetHelp787
Same goes for the Office for Victims of Crime, Dept of Justice: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/