General Safety Tips
Avoiding Dangerous Situations
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
- Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged.
- Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
Social Situations and Safety
- When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends.
- Trust your instincts.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
- Watch out for your friends, and vice versa.
Tips for Smart Dating
- Clarify for yourself what you want, what you don’t want and define your limits ahead of time -- before you meet an acquaintance or go out on a date.
- Communicate your intentions clearly. Tell your date or acquaintance what your intentions and limits are. “No” means no, and “yes” means yes. Be clear, firm, and specific. Polite approaches are sometimes misunderstood or ignored.
- Be assertive. Others sometimes interpret silence or passivity as permission. Be clear, straightforward, and firm with someone who is sexually pressuring you.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol. Alcohol interferes significantly with judgment and communication. Most incidents of date rape involve alcohol use by the victim, the perpetrator, or both.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- When dating a person for the first time, double date. Attend social events with two or three people and watch out for each other. Commit to go together and to leave together.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
- Trust your intuition. If you sense you are in danger, leave the area or situation immediately.