Published: Apr 11, 2013 3:57 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- In an effort to aid the victims of Sexual Assault, Incest and Rape; and bring attention to these violent acts, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office joins our nation in recognizing April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sheriff Mike Scott encourages you to plan in advance how to respond to a physical attack should you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Below are a few tips to consider:

-Enroll in a S.A.F.E. class – Trained instructors from the Sheriff’s Office conduct a participative program teaching women the basics of physical self defense and ways to reduce threat risks. The Self Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (SAFE) class teaches women of all ages how to avoid, escape or survive an assault.

-When walking alone always walk briskly; look alert and confident, and avoid carrying objects that require the use of both hands.

- -Stay away from isolated areas, day or night.

-If you are being followed change directions and walk or run to a crowded area.

-Keep the doors locked to your car and home at all times.

-Always meet someone you don’t know in a public place; never go alone to unfamiliar surroundings.

-Let a family member or friend know your schedule in case you encounter trouble.

-Keep your cell phone handy and call 911 to report a suspicious person or activity.

For more information about attending a S.A.F.E. class presented by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, call Community Relations at (239) 477-1400.