A murder occurs in the United States every 21 minutes, a rape every five minutes, a robbery every 48 seconds and an aggravated assault every 28 seconds. Because of devastating crimes, it is important for everyone to protect themselves.

Personal safety is always a concern. With violent crime, the best protection is education and prevention. Even though you may not be able to physically fight back, you can take precautions to prevent dangerous situations.

Do not be tricked by appearances. Remember, not every criminal looks like a psychopath with crazed eyes. In fact, most victims know their assailant. Serial killers are often attractive, charming people.

Use the buddy system. There is strength in numbers. Never walk or drive alone, if possible, especially at night. Numbers discourage criminals because their goals become harder to achieve.

Vary your schedule. Many criminals stalk their victims before striking. In order to avoid a dangerous, "predictable" pattern, change your schedule often or vary your route whenever possible.

Be accountable. Find someone with whom you can be accountable. For instance, if you must walk alone, call someone and tell them where you are going and what time you will return. Plan to call them when you arrive or return. If you are late, your contact person can call the local law enforcement agency.

Do not advertise your belongings. Use common sense. Avoid the obvious. Carry your money in an inner coat pocket or a fanny pack. If you use a purse, carry a shoulder bag held close to your body or worn inside your coat. Place valuables in the trunk so they are not visible.

Never agree to pull over. Unless a law enforcement officer is in a marked car, never agree to pull off the road. Many criminals obtain victims by indicating their car or the victim's car is having problems.

Take care of your car. Never leave your keys in the car. Always lock doors and keep valuables out of view. To avoid car problems, keep your car in good working order.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS will meet at 8:30 a.m. Art class will meet at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m. A computer para will be in the lab from 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Exercise group will meet at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise classes are at 10 and 11 a.m. A health services nurse will do screenings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m.

Saturday: The pool room will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday: Duplicate bridge is played at 1:30 p.m. Happy Father's Day.

Monday: Exercise class begins at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise classes are at 10 and 11 a.m. A health services nurse will do screenings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Humdinger Band will meet at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle is played at 1 p.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m. UpBeats Band will practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is played at 7 p.m.

Tuesday: A computer para will be in the lab from 10 a.m. to noon. Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. Bingo is played for prizes at 1:30 p.m. Cost is three cards for 50 cents. Duplicate bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Bridge is played at 7 p.m.

June 24: Foot care clinic begins at 8 a.m. Call 272-3620 for an appointment. Line dancing is at 8:30 a.m. Call 272-3620 for more information about this or any exercise program. A computer para will be in the lab from 10 a.m. to noon. STEPS exercises are at 10 and 11 a.m. Library check-in/out begins at 11 a.m. Pinochle is played at 12:45 p.m. The Sewing Group meets from 1 to 4 p.m. The Finney County Senior Citizens Association will host a dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The band playing is "Ortiz Band." This is a free dance hosted by Dr. Baughman and family. The dance is an Inez Wasinger Memorial Dance. Bring finger foods for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Baked ham, sweet potatoes, peas, strawberries and pears, whole wheat roll.

Friday (Fresh Fruit Friday): Baked fish, mac and cheese, tomatoes, fruit muffin, rosy applesauce.

Monday: Taco salad, corn, tortilla chips, ambrosia fruit salad.

Tuesday: Meat loaf, mashed potato, gravy, spinach, plums, whole wheat roll.

June 24: Swiss steak, baked potato, carrots, strawberry Bavarian cream, muffin.

Visit the Senior Center Web site at www. seniorcenterfc.com.