- Give yourself permission to trust your instincts. If you have an instinct or feeling that a situation may be unsafe, go with your gut. This instinct is often called your sixth sense and there for a reason . . . to alert you to anything that is unsafe or uncomfortable. Also, if you notice anything suspicious, tell someone or contact police immediately.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find ways to get out of a bad situation.
- When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends, arrive together and check-up on each other throughout the evening.
- Don’t leave your drinks unattended.
- Don’t accept drinks from people who you don’t know or trust.
- Edit your privacy settings and avoid adding personal information such as phone number or address on social media.
- Avoid adding strangers to your social network.
- Make sure to delete any private information if using a public computer and log out properly.
- Don’t share your passwords/codes with anyone.
Protecting your friends
Friends have a crucial role to play when it comes to being safe. No matter the setting, if you see something or feel something is suspicious, there are simple things you can do to help out a friend at risk.
If you see a friend in a situation that does not feel right, create a way to distract your friend and then get him/her to safety. You can try redirecting the conversation by suggesting that you both leave the party, or you ask him/her to walk you home. Try asking things like: “Do you want to go to the bathroom with me?” Or “Do you want to head to another party or go get something to eat?”
If you feel that your friend is looking uncomfortable or is at risk, you can step in. If you feel comfortable find a way to safely de-escalate the situation and separate the people in the situation. You can try directly asking the person if she/he needs help or feels uncomfortable. Also, you can ask another friend to help you out.
Keep an eye out
Be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone who may have had too much to drink or could be vulnerable, try to get him/her to a safe place. Enlist a group of friends to help you.