With party season in full swing, I have the pleasure of handing over my blog to the very talented Gina Kay Daniel who is here to share her tips for staying safe on a night out. I might have swapped nightclubs for night feeds just recently but on the rare occasion I do head out and let my hair down, it’s always at the forefront of my mind to make sure I keep myself as safe as possible. Many of those (and more) are highlighted below.
Whether you’re going out with friends or you’re out with loved ones, sexually related attacks and abuse can happen. It’s hard to think about sometimes, but there are ways you can avoid abusive and explicit behavior on a night out. In the last year alone, there has been an increase in reports of sexual abuse, and while there are ways you can claim compensation if you have been abused, it’s best to try and actively avoid abuse where you can! So, here’s a guide on how to avoid sexual abuse on a night out.
Plan before you go
It might sound boring, but planning your night can save a lot of time and faffing around. If you know where abouts you’re going to be, you can head in the right direction if you get separated from your mates. Plan where you’re heading and at what times (roughly). Even if you don’t stick to the plan, it’s something to keep in mind and keep you all together.
On a night out, it’s best to stay together. Bigger groups of people are intimidating, and you’re less likely to be approached if you’re with your friends. If you find yourself alone, you may be an easy target for someone looking to cause trouble. If you find you’ve become separated from your mates, call them and meet up when you can.
Keep an eye on your drinks
As upsetting as it can seem, it’s really easy to slip something into your drink if you’re not paying attention. The popular date rape drug, rohypnol, can take twenty minutes to take effect. It can cause drowsiness, a semi-unconscious state or even a coma. It’s really important that you keep your hand over your drink when on a night out, or even just keep an eye on it. It can avoid any meddling and keeps your mind at ease.
Trust your gut
If someone starts dancing with you who you don’t like or want around, trust your gut. Don’t carry on dancing with them because you feel awkward walking away. You don’t owe this person anything, and you can leave the situation whenever you want. Remember, no means no, and you won’t be pressured into something that you don’t consent to.
Buy an alarm
If you would like something to defend yourself with, invest in a rape alarm or self defense keyring. It might just put your mind at ease having these in your handbag or purse. And, although they may be clunky, it could just save you from something nasty happening.
Don’t blame yourself
Despite trying to help ourselves on nights out, abuse and assault can unfortunately happen. Please remember that if something happens to you, you must report it immediately, and remember that it ISN’T your fault. You are not responsible for the actions of others, and you are never “asking for it”.
Guest post by Gina Kay Daniel