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Crime Prevention Tips

CARJACKING
First, some Carjacking facts:

  1. Carjackings take place very quickly. Most take only 15 to 20 seconds to complete.
  2. Carjackings can be violent. Drivers have been beaten and even murdered while being pulled out of their car.
  3. Carjackers are usually armed. Either with a gun or knife.
  4. Carjackings may first involve a minor traffic accident. The victim's car is "bumped" at a stop sign, red light, or freeway off ramp. When the victim gets out of the car to check the damage the suspect pulls a weapon and takes the car.
  5. Other carjackings occur at stop signs or lights - the suspect may approach you and pull a weapon on you ordering you out of the car; or as you are pulling into or out of a parking space - a second vehicle may block your path with a passenger from the suspect's vehicle getting out and pulling you out of your car; or as you are entering or exiting your car - the suspect may be standing close by, in a parked car, or hiding by other parked cars, buildings, etc.

Safety Tips:
  1. BE AWARE. This is very important! Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what suspects look for in a victim. Look around and get a BIG PICTURE of your surroundings.
  2. At times you may want to be a little suspicious of a person or persons, ask yourself why is this person where they are? Some victims have seen the suspect but the victim thought the person looked "innocent," "he was just standing around," etc.
  3. Keep your house keys and car keys on separate key chains.
  4. When going to your car have your keys out and ready; look around for anyone "hanging" around your car or your path to your car. Don't hesitate to run back to where you came from to get help.
  5. LOOK AROUND one last time just before exiting your car. When you pull into a parking area look around for anyone "hanging" around, or someone who seems to "pace" their walk to arrive at your parking place as you are exiting your car. If you see someone like this move to another parking area or leave the area. If you do not see anyone around then park your car, and try to avoid parking next to large vehicles such as vans. BUT, by the time you are ready to exit your car several seconds have passed - there could now be someone in the area - SO, TAKE ONE LAST LOOK AROUND before exiting your car, keeping your car keys handy in case you need to get back in quickly. By keeping your keys in your hand you can quickly get back into your car if someone suddenly appears and approaches you....GET BACK IN THE CAR - HONK THE HORN - START THE CAR - AND START THE CAR MOVING OUT OF THERE!
  6. In a minor "fender bender" type accident, if the location is secluded, instead of getting out immediately, you may want to drive to an open business, Police Station, Fire Station, etc. for your safety. Motion the other driver to follow you; you do not want to give the other driver the idea you are running away from an accident, even though the other driver caused the accident.
  7. Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up.
  8. Keep packages, purse, etc. on the floor rather than on the seat where they are easier to see.
  9. Keep your car in good working order and with plenty of gas.
  10. If you have car trouble keep your doors locked and windows up. If someone stops to help stay in the car and ask them to call the police or a service station which you have the phone number to and are aware the station stays open 24 hours.
DRINKING FACTS
Alcohol Program
Some students might expect a Guide to Drinking to be about how to tap a keg, where to buy the cheapest case, and what's good for curing hangovers. After all, many people think college is just a four-year party with a $20,000 cover charge - and their favorite class is Partying and Drinking 101.

Maybe you're one of those people pursuing a major in keg parties and a minor in weekend benders. Or, on the other hand, maybe you drink very little, if at all. Whatever the case, this site will help you understand what your options are.

Our goal is to prepare you for the countless college drinking decisions ahead, so you'll know what to look out for and how to make the right choices for yourself. The seven key categories shown below provide the facts you need to do just that.

In this class there's no pressure, no homework. You won't be given any assignments, you won't have to sweat any exams. And like any other class, you want it to be fun, not a drag.

FACT SHEET: BINGE DRINKING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
IS IT SERIOUS?
College presidents agree binge drinking is the most serious problem on campus.

In 1997, Harvard University's School of Public Health College Alcohol Study surveyed students at 130 colleges. Here are some of the findings:

WHO BINGES?
  • 43% of U.S. college students engaged in binge drinking during the two weeks before the survey.
  • 48% of the MEN drank 5 or more drinks in a row
  • 39% of the WOMEN drank 4 or more drinks in a row
Students more likely to binge drink are white, age 23 or younger, involved in athletics, and residents of a fraternity or sorority. If they were binge drinkers in high school, they were three times more likely to binge in college.

The percentage of students who were binge drinkers was nearly uniform from freshman to senior year, even though students under 21 are prohibited from purchasing alcohol.

About half the binge drinkers, one in five students overall, were frequent binge drinkers, that is, they binged three or more times in a two-week period. An equal proportion of students reported abstaining from drinking alcohol.

WHY?
Binge drinkers cited the following as important reasons for drinking:
  • Drinking to Get Drunk (cited by 52% of students who consumed alcohol)
  • Status Associated With Drinking
  • Culture of Alcohol Consumption on Campus
  • Peer Pressure
  • Academic Stress
WHAT EFFECTS?
A higher percentage of binge drinkers than non-binge drinkers reported having experienced alcohol-related problems since the beginning of the school year. Frequent binge drinkers were 22 times more likely than non-binge drinkers to have:
  • Missed Class
  • Fallen Behind in School Work
  • Engaged in Unplanned Sexual Activity
  • Not Used Protection When Having Sex
  • Damaged Property
  • Gotten in Trouble With Campus Public Safety
  • Been Hurt or Injured
  • Driven a Car After Drinking
  • Used Other Drugs
IMPACT ON OTHER STUDENTS
Two-thirds of students responding to the study reported experiencing at least one adverse consequence of another student's drinking during the school year. Some examples were:
  • 61% Had Sleep Or Study Interrupted
  • 50% Had to "Babysit" an Intoxicated Student
  • 29% Had Been Insulted or Humiliated
  • 23% Had Experienced an Unwanted Sexual Advance
  • 19% Had a Serious Argument
  • 13% Had Property Damaged
  • 9% Had Been Pushed, Hit or Assaulted
  • 2% Had Been the Victim of a Sexual Assault or "Date Rape"
INTERNET SAFETY TIPS
  1. Never give or lend your password to anyone.
  2. Allowing anyone access to you accounts could cause problems for you if they use your account and E-mail address for any illegal activities.
  3. Change your password frequently.
  4. Current hacker programs on the internet allow hackers to steal your password, thereby allowing them access to your account. By changing your password frequently, you minimize the chances of a hacker gaining access to your account.
  5. Monitor your access time.
  6. By keeping track of when and how long you were on a computer system, it will be obvious if someone has gained access to your account.
  7. Be wary of anonymous re-mailers.
  8. If you receive mail from or send mail to an anonymous re-mailer, always remember that there must be a reason that this person is anonymous. It is best to only converse with those with valid E-mail addresses.
  9. Never transmit personal information (ie. credit card numbers) over the Internet.
  10. Information sent over the Internet is never secure from someone else receiving it. Even encrypted information can be received and decrypted by a waiting criminal.
  11. Monitor what your children are doing on the Internet.
  12. You should never leave your children to explore the Internet alone.
  13. In the past few years, a growth of criminals have entered onto the Internet and have preyed on small children. Remember, the Internet is a large and interesting place that should be shared by both parent and child.
  14. If you feel that some suspicious activities have occurred on the Internet here at South Carolina State University, feel free to contact the South Carolina State University Public Safety Department @ .
  15. Never leave your computer/laptop unattended. Secure your area even if it is only for a minute.
  16. Engrave markings on your computer. The engraving of markings on the computer will help identify it later if it has been stolen/lost. Examples you could use are your name, your driver's license number, or your social insurance number.
  17. Password protect your files/computer. Using passwords will protect your data or the entry into your computer.
  18. Don't put personal information or photos on your web page.
Jogging Can Be Fun, Healthful, & Safe When You Take Precautions
In view of recent attacks on joggers, everyone that is currently enjoying that sport needs to be aware of certain crime prevention tips geared exclusively to them. These safety tips can apply to anyone that is on the street either walking, jogging, or running.

With the number of joggers in the United States, it is not surprising when we read in our local newspaper that a man was attacked and beaten by a gang of young thugs, and that a woman was raped as she jogged by herself in a fashionable neighborhood.

One thing we need to remember is that none of us is immune to crime. Crime doesn't always happen to the other guy. It could happen to you. By "being aware" the jogger can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of an attack.

Many joggers have the mistaken idea that because they usually do not carry large sums of money with them as they jog, they are not likely candidates for an attack.

Unfortunately, that is not true. They must always be aware of their surroundings and take appropriate action to protect themselves.

One of the most serious problems for joggers is not paying attention.

They become so preoccupied with the physical act of jogging that they lose touch with the moment.

They are so busy concentrating on how much further they have to go and on putting one foot in front of the next, that they don't pay attention to what is happening right here, right now.

When they allow themselves to become preoccupied, they have jeopardized their security.

When they are not paying attention, it gives the would-be attacker the opportunity to surprise them. Being alert and being aware is vital at all times.

Safety Tips for Jogging
  1. Jog with a known companion
  2. jog in a familiar area
  3. Do not jog in a secluded area
  4. Do not jog after dark
  5. Jog facing the traffic
  6. If followed, go to the nearest house and call the police
  7. Wear bright colored clothing to improve your visibility
  8. Carry a whistle or shrill alarm to summon help, if needed
  9. Vary your route and pattern of running
  10. Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep Alert!
  11. Jog away from bushes where someone could hide
  12. Take a key with you when you jog. Don't leave your house unlocked. Someone might be watching you and your house to see when it will be empty or unlocked.
Stepping Out, Staying Safe
Go with friends.
  • That way you can look out for each other.
Tell someone where you are going and who you are going with.
  • If you feel you can't tell your parents, tell another friend or a trusted adult.
  • If something were to happen they would know where to look.
Be aware that men and women may interpret nonverbal behavior, including dress, differently.
  • No matter what you are wearing, no one has the right to touch you if you do not want them to,
  • but the issue still needs thinking about.
  • Women say they dress a certain way because it looks good or it's the way their friends are dressing.
  • They want to be attractive yet stay in control of who they attract. Some men, on the other hand, often view provocative dress as a signal for sexual availability.
Stay aware!
  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay sober, and don't leave a drink unattended.
  • Drugs and alcohol, especially if mixed, are likely to impair your judgment.
Communicate clearly.
  • If someone touches you in way you don't like, Be firm!
  • Say "No, I don't like that!" move away.
  • Avoid giving mixed messages.
  • For the guys, don't take mixed messages as a "yes."
Speak up.
  • Don't be afraid to make a scene or to call out for help if you are touched in a way you don't like.
  • Either confront the person or, if you are not comfortable with that, leave the floor and report the problem to a security guard. That will help the owner know who to look out for in the future.

DEALING WITH OBSCENE OR ANNOYING PHONE CALLS
HANG UP
As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper question or no response - HANG UP! It may take the caller 5 or 6 times to get the message, but be consistent and hang up every time. They usually get tired of getting no response and stop calling.

DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS
Be careful when the caller says he is taking a survey. If you have any concern about the legitimacy of a person asking for personal information over the phone, ask the person for his name, firm name and telephone number. Say that you will call back after you verify the authenticity of the survey.

DON'T PLAY DETECTIVE
Don’t extend the call trying to figure out who is calling. This or any type of reaction is exactly what the caller wants.

KEEP COOL
Don’t let the caller know you are upset or angry.

DON'T TRY TO BE CLEVER
A witty response may well be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.

DON'T TRY TO BE A COUNSELOR
The annoyance or obscene caller certainly needs professional help, but he will only be encouraged by your concern and will continue calling.

DON'T TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR CALLS
Many calls of this type are actually made by friends, family members, even your closest girlfriend or boyfriend.

PLACE ADS WITH CAUTION
When placing an ad in a newspaper or on a bulletin board, use a newspaper or post office box number if possible. If you must use your phone number, do not list your address. Crank callers are avid readers of the classified ads.

DON'T LET YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE OR VOICE MAIL GIVE YOU AWAY
Don’t say: “I’m out of the office”; “I’m not at home at the present time”; “I’m away for the weekend”.

Also refrain from using names or giving out the phone number. If the prank call is random, you’ve just given the caller a name and a return phone number.

Suggestions:
  1. “Your message is important to me, please leave your name and number”;
  2. “I’m glad you called, Please leave your name and number”;
  3. “I’m not available at the present time, but will return your call as soon as possible.”
REPORT THREATS OF PHYSICAL HARM OR VIOLENCE IMMEDIATELY
While the vast majority of obscene and annoying phone calls are simple pranks, threats of violence must be taken seriously.

Immediately after you receive a call in which there are threats of physical harm or violence report the call to Campus Police or to your local police agency if you are at home or away from the campus.

How to Protect Yourself in a Parking Garage
  • If you must leave a key with a parking attendant, leave only your vehicle's ignition key. Do not leave anything attached to it with your name and address.
  • Don't park next to a van's sliding door.
  • Change from high heels to low flats or even sneakers when leaving work.They are better to run in.
  • At night, leave your office or building in the company of others. Don't leave alone after dark. If possible, have someone from your building securityescort you, or call for police assistance.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys already in your hand.
  • Look around your vehicle for any suspicious activity. If you see someoneloitering around your vehicle, walk past until they leave.
  • Do a quick scan of your vehicle's interior before unlocking the door. Be sure to look in the back seat.
  • Keep your doors locked and your windows shut.
  • Be suspicious of anyone approaching your vehicle, whether passing out leaflets or asking for donations. Always leave the car windows up.
Theft Prevention
Six Facts About Thefts on Campus
  • FACT: Theft is the most common crime on campus.
  • FACT: The majority of thefts are most likely committed by those using our facilities.
  • FACT: Most thefts occur from unlocked and unattended offices, others happen in the cafeterias, libraries, P.E. locker rooms and classrooms.
  • FACT: Money is usually the target, credit cards are also sometimes stolen, however, the thief generally does not use the cards himself but sells them to someone else.
  • FACT: Theft is the most difficult crime for police officers to prevent, but the easiest for you to prevent.
  • FACT: A thief needs only seconds to steal what it takes you hours to earn.
Protect Your Property
  • Lock your office door whenever you leave--even if you are going to be "right back".
  • Keep your purse/wallet in a locked desk or cabinet.
  • When leaving a classroom, your table in a library, or your seat in the cafeteria--even if "going away for a minute"-- take your purse/wallet with you.
  • Don't assume that leaving your books unattended will mean that they will be there when you get back, books are a high-theft item as well.
  • Don't bring large sums of money or valuables on campus.
Vehicle Security
You can reduce the opportunities for your automobile being stolen or broken into by taking the following precautions:
  • Lock your car and take your keys with you.
  • Be sure your window vent is secure.
  • All packages should be hidden in the trunk when your car is left unattended.
  • Do not leave your car unlocked or unattended when loading and unloading.
  • Install an ignition by-pass switch which will prevent your car from being started.
  • Park in lighted parking lots, avoid parking near shrubbery, trees, etc., which could conceal a potential attacker or burglar.
  • Give your car the quick "once over" before entering, with a critical eye for possible break-ins or for persons hiding in the rear seat or on the floor. If you wish, install an automobile burglar alarm in your car.
  • If you see any suspicious persons loitering around the parking lots on the campus, report them immediately to the District Police.
  • Auto burglary has the highest rate of occurrence of all vehicle related crimes on the campuses.
  • If your car has been broken into, or if it has been stolen, immediately call the police. The sooner you report the crime, the better chance we have of apprehending the criminal and recovering your vehicle. Try not to touch anything in and around your vehicle until the officer arrives so that any evidence that needs to be collected will not be destroyed.
  • If you park a motorcycle on the campus, always lock it with a good casehardened lock and chain in addition to the fork lock.

Understanding Sex Crimes
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity forced upon one person by another. Many victims fail to report sexual assault because they are not sure an "assault" has actually taken place, or they feel they are to blame. "No" means "No." If a person won't take "No" for an answer then sexual assault has occurred.

Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment differs from sexual assault in that no one is physically abused. Depending on the circumstances, examples of harassment include: repeated and unwanted romantic advances, discussions of a sexual nature, abusive language aimed at a particular sex, the telling of lewd jokes, unwanted touching. You do not need to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Acquaintance rape
The overwhelming majority of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Sexual abuse is never the victim's fault. But you can take steps to avoid being victimized. Clearly communicate what you want and don't want. Set your limits before you go on a date. Be aware of signals you may be sending.

What You Can Do to Prevent Sex Crimes
If you have questions
If you think you may be the victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment but are unsure, talk to a counselor who deals with such cases. Your campus medical facility or local hospital has trained professionals on staff who can help you understand what has happened.

Defuse a bad situation
If you find yourself in a situation where there is potential for sexual assault, you can use several tactics to dissuade your attacker:
  • Tell your attacker he is committing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
In more intense situations you should:
  • Scream and draw attention to yourself
  • Yell "No!" or "Stop!" or even "Fire!"
  • Run away if possible
  • Fight back using any means at your disposal
Be Aware, Keep Smart and Stay Safe

Common sense
This is perhaps your best protection against crime. Follow these basic rules: Don't walk alone at night and stick to well-lighted streets. Be aware of your surroundings. If you are being followed, walk fast to a populated area. Don't give your phone number or address to strangers. Avoid dangerous parts of town.

Prevent sexual assault
In addition to exercising the common sense rules mentioned above, you should always exercise caution when drinking. In most cases of sexual assault, especially acquaintance rape, drugs and/or alcohol were used by one or both people involved. If you drink, drink responsibly.

Be aware
Contact your local police department to locate high crime areas on campus and in town. Learn what crimes are most prevalent in your neighborhood. You'll know what precautions to take once you've identified the most prevalent types of crime and where they occur.

Report suspicious behavior
Call the police if you suspect someone is committing or attempting to commit a crime. Your involvement makes a safer environment for everyone. Give the police a good description of the suspect. Do not try apprehending the person yourself.

Precautions You Can Take
  1. Self-defense classes - Many college campuses offer training in self-defense through the gymnasium or police department for a small fee. Mace and pepper spray training may also be available. Inquire at your campus police headquarters or the city police department. Private self-defense instruction is also available in most cities.
  2. Make use of campus safety services - With a quick call to your campus police department or local police station, you can find out what safety resources are available to you. The police department usually offers some kind of instruction in crime prevention. And many colleges offer night walk and night shuttle services.
What to Do if You Are the Victim of Crime
Report the crime immediately!
If the police aren't aware of the crime, there's nothing they can do about it. Be prepared to tell the police: what happened exactly, where the crime happened, when it happened, who you are and where you're calling from. Do not disturb any evidence at the crime scene while waiting for police to arrive.

Reporting sexual assault
Tell someone you trust what has happened. Whether you report sexual assault to the police or not, you should seek medical treatment and counseling immediately. Do not bathe, change clothes, or otherwise destroy evidence before seeing a doctor. Your physician will be able to refer you to a counselor.

Dealing with Email Harassment

What do I do if I am harassed via email?
  1. Do not delete the email. You need to keep it as evidence.
  2. Assess the situation: If you believe that you are in danger, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately! On campus, contact the Campus Police Department at or email TheTell the harasser to stop: Reply to the harassing email with a firm but polite message telling him or her to refrain from sending you any more mail. If it's someone with whom you must continue to correspond, tell this person to refrain from sending you more messages of the kind you find offensive. Be specific. Make sure to send a copy of this email to yourself. You need to document as much as possible.
  3. If the harasser does not stop: Report the situation to the appropriate address below.
Where to report harassment
  • For reporting sexual harassment.
  • For reporting verbal abuse, declared threats of violence, etc.
How to report harassment
  • Send the following three messages to the appropriate address above.
  • Send an email describing the harassment. Include a copy of the original harassing email if you wish, but it's not necessary.
  • Send a copy of the message you sent telling the harasser to stop.
  • Forward a copy, with full headers, of the harassing message you received after you told the perpetrator to stop. Remember to forward this message: don't bounce it or send it as a MIME attachment.

ATM Safety Tips
Robberies have been a problem at ATM's for some time. Here are some safety tips which may make using the ATM's safer:
  • If you drive to the ATM it is best to lock your car when using the ATM. But, keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction.
  • Be alert for anything suspicious, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM, or someone who just appears to be "hanging" around the area.
  • If you sense something wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM.
  • When waiting in line wait well behind the person or persons using the ATM.
  • When you are using the ATM and someone is closer than you would like ask them to step back a few steps.
  • If they do not step back it may be best to cancel you transaction and wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves or you could go to another ATM.
  • Have everything ready before you approach the ATM; have your card ready,
  • know your code, fill out yuor deposit envelop before approaching the ATM.
  • Do NOT write your code on your ATM card.
  • Keep your code secret. If needed, check the code before approaching the ATM.
  • Stand directly in front of the ATM, blocking the view of others.
  • You don't want others to see: your code, what type of transaction you make, how much money you withdraw.
  • If you must use an ATM after dark, have a friend go with you if possible.
  • Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • At a drive-up ATM keep all windows closed, except the one you are using, and all doors locked.
  • Keep the car running, and keep your eyes moving, watching the front, sides, and rear area;
  • if someone approaches your vehicle on foot cancel the transaction and leave.
  • When your transaction is completed immediately take your property--card, receipt, money, etc. and put them in your pocket or purse and leave immediately. You can count your money later.
  • When you leave the ATM and you feel someone is following you walk or drive into the closest open business and call the Police.
  • Report all ATM crimes to the local police and the financial institution.
Aggressive Dogs and Your Safety
All dogs should be treated with the utmost caution; every dog will bite given the right circumstances. Each dog has its own distinct social and personal distance that a stranger is permitted to enter. This is why dogs that are tied may bite or snap when approached; they are unable to escape when there is a sudden invasion of their personal space.

A dog must be approached slowly, allowing time for it to sniff the person or make friendly contact. Crouching down (reducing one's body size), speaking to the dog gently, avoiding eye contact, and patting around the chest or neck region are all non-threatening actions. Keep in mind, if you are crouching to pet a dog, keep your face well clear of the dog's face.

Approaching a dog suddenly, bending over it or patting it on the head or back are dominant and threatening gestures and may cause a dog to react by biting. Some other behaviors to avoid include, yelling, waving your arms, and rushing at the dog. These actions can scare the dog, in which case it will either run away or attack.

It is also important to remember that turning and running are signals for a dog to chase and attack. Most people are bitten moving away from a dog when they turn to run. Dogs are usually less aggressive on neutral ground, so it is important to gradually increase the distance from where the dog lives, if that is where the encounter occurred.

If you believe that a dog is going to attack you, offer it whatever you have with you- whether it is a clipboard, briefcase, or purse. If the dog is truly aggressive he will grab the object and hold on. Do not let go of the object, if you do he will soon realize that it is not you and will more than likely attack again.

Normally, once the dog realizes that he is having little or no effect, he will stop the attack, or at the very least, give you time to plan your next move. You should only strike the dog as a last resort. Inflicting pain on the dog can only make him more aggressive, as he will identify you as the source of his pain.

If you happen to be knocked to the ground, remain motionless in the fetal position, and protect your face by crossing your arms above your head.

Parents should never leave dogs alone with babies or young children, as dogs can be frightened or feel threatened by the quick movements and the level of noise that children make. Children must be taught to respect dogs, and never to torment, tease, or cause them pain. It is these behaviors that usually cause children to be bitten.

You should also refrain from tapping on, or putting your hand through car door windows when there is a dog inside. These actions aggravate the dog, and increase the likelihood that he will bite either you, or the next passerby.

Some Tips for dealing with aggressive dogs:
  • When possible, advise the dog owner of your visit, and ask him to tie any dogs up.
  • If a dog comes, greet him as a long lost friend, and if he responds to you and you are confident, enter the property.
  • Walk in a confident manner, dogs do not smell fear, but they are very good at reading body language such as jerky movements.
  • If a dog appears to be chained up, do not assume that the chain is attached. It may also be longer than it appears, or even break if the dog lunges. Remember that dogs are more aggressive when tied up.
  • Never assume that because a dog's tail is wagging that he will not bite. It can mean indecision on the dog's part.
  • If a dog is chasing you, never run unless you can beat the dog to a safe haven. This is a sure way to aggravate an attack.