It’s an unfortunate reality that we need to watch our backs when we’re out and about at night. Over the last year in particular, we’ve seen that, unfortunately, as women, we can be vulnerable when by ourselves. As many of you may be heading off to college and are most likely going to be going on college nights out, we want you to know our 10 most important rules for staying safe and protecting each other when out and about.
1 Log Your Tinder Dates with a Friend
If you’re meeting someone from Tinder, or any other dating site, make sure someone knows where you are at all times. You ca share your location through Google Maps, WhatsApp or Snapchat! To be on the safe side, have them call you after an hour to check that you’re okay, and maybe even have an agreed code word for each other. For example, if you’re concerned, say “everything’s peachy” which tells them to come to where you are, and make sure you get home okay.
2 Walk if you need to
If alarm bells are ringing, or if someone is behaving in a way which makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry about hurting their feelings. Just leave.
3 Ask For Angela
Ask for Angela is a code word campaign that supports people who feel unsafe or intimidated while on a night out.
If you’re uncomfortable on a night out and need some support, you can go up to the bar or a member of staff and ask for ‘Angela’. The code word lets bar staff know if you’re feeling uncomfortable and need a way to get out of your situation.
The staff member will discreetly separate you from the person and talk to you to find the best way to deal with the situation. They may call you a taxi so you can get home safely, or remove the person from the bar or nightclub.
4 Freshen Up
If you are in trouble, you can slow your attacker down by spraying deodorant or perfume in their face, which might buy you time to run.
5 Watch Your Drink
Don’t ever let a stranger buy you a drink, and don’t take a drink or other substance from someone if you don’t know wha’ts in it. Never leave your drink unattended, and if you can, cover your glass with a beer mat while you’re chatting to others.
6 Stay Together
If you’re going out as a group, arrange to meet at a specific spot if you get separated. Don’t rely on your phones in case they get lost or the battery dies.
7 Know Who’s Taking You Home
If you’re taking a taxi home, take down the number and text it to someone. Even better, use the ‘My Taxi’ app, which emails you the name, number and license number of your driver.
8 Be There for Each Other
If a friend or someone you know is a victim of assault, be completely supportive. We need to change the narrative around victim blaming. Don’t ask her what she was wearing or how drunk she was. There is no amount of alcohol, or no skirt short enough to warrant a sexual attack. Nobody ever asks for it.
9 Talk to Your Parents
You might think your parents know nothing about life, but you’d be surprised. They’ve been there, done that and worn the t-shirt. All they care about is that you’re safe, let them help you.
10 Remember That Consent is Yours to Give
If you don’t fully understand what consent is, read our very simple guide here. Or, watch this handy (but slightly rude) You Tube video about Tea.