Personal safety tips

In response to the recent cases and the nation’s outcry against gender-based violence, Unisa Student Health and Wellness would like to share information with you, our Unisa students, on how you can keep yourselves and each other safe while in and around Unisa campuses and regional offices.

Unisa campuses and regional offices are safe places, but should the behaviour of others make you feel unsafe or compromise your safety and wellbeing, it is important to take action.

Safety while on campus

  • It is important to be vigilant of your surroundings, whether you are in the library, computer lab or study area.
  • Always make sure that somebody (a close family member or friend) knows that you are on campus or at a regional office.
  • Make sure that your phone is fully charged, so that you can make contact in an emergency.
  • Should you notice suspicious behaviour that may compromise your safety and wellbeing, contact Unisa's Protection Services as soon as possible.
  • Should you find yourself in a situation where you are violently assaulted, harmed or raped by someone, please contact Unisa Protection services.
  • It is important to form study groups or partner with people that you trust.
  • Know the telephone numbers of Campus Security and the SAPS emergency number 10111.

Travelling off campus

  • Avoid leaving the campus alone, especially at night. Walk in groups of two or more people.
  • If you are followed or confronted, change direction and phone Unisa's Protection Services or SAPS immediately.
  • When leaving your study area late at night alone, arrange with Unisa's Protection Services to walk with you, if possible.
  • When walking outside the campus, walk near the curb and avoid walkways that pass close to shrubbery, dark doorways, alleys and other places where someone could conceal themselves.
  • Do not walk with your head down. Walk erect and look at people you are passing.
  • Ensure that other people know your whereabouts (ie friends and / or family).


Safety in your place of residence

  • Keep your house / apartment door and windows locked when you are in your residence alone, whenever it is unoccupied or if you are sleeping.
  • Do not open your house / apartment to anyone unless you can identify the person seeking entrance.
  • Report suspicious people or activities in and around your house / apartment building to SAPS or Security Company linked to your house / apartment.
  • If your keys are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the landlord and / or get them replaced with changed locks.  
  • Never leave your keys lying around your house / apartment.
  • When entering your house / apartment at night, have your keys readily available.
  • If you are having someone over to your house / apartment, always inform a friend or a relative.


What to do in a risky situation

First, it is very important to avoid risky situations and environments for your own safety. However, there are situations that are hard to avoid and should you find yourself in one, consider the following options;

  • If you feel unsafe or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately.
  • If you attend group gatherings or parties, go with friends you trust and monitor them while at the party.
  • Be particularly aware that alcohol and drugs interfere with a person's ability to make clear decisions and communicate effectively.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers and watch your drinks at all times.
  • If someone makes unwelcomed sexual gestures, firmly and clearly say no. Should they insist and be aggressive, immediately leave the environment and inform people around you. If you are on campus, contact Unisa's Protection Services and if away from campus, contact SAPS and make sure that you are safe.
  • Always trust your gut (“sixth sense”), if you feel threatened, get help. Rather be safe than sorry.
  • Remember, you have the right to say "No" to any undesired sexual contact. State your limits clearly and firmly. Do not assume that your acquaintance automatically knows how you feel.
  • As a safety precaution, in case something should happen to you, give your close family and friends your IMEI number. This is the number that provides SAPS with your last location, detected from your mobile phone. To get the IMEI number dial *#06# on your phone.

Emergency contact numbers

  • Unisa Protection Services: x 6666 (012 429 6666).
    This number is for the control office based on the Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria, but you can contact it from any of the Unisa campuses and regional offices. This line is open 24/7. Please note that if you are calling from a cellphone you need to dial the full number: 012 429 6666. The same applies if you are calling from a landline outside the Unisa Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria.
  • SAPS: 10111
    Should you need further assistance, please contact Unisa Student Health and Wellness on 012 429 6420 / (please do not use this number in an emergency).

* Information provided by Unisa Student Health & Wellness