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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. Here are our 10 most important rules for protecting yourselves and 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. 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 PinYourself

You can use location pins in WhatsApp or Google Maps to share your location with someone. If you get into trouble and don’t know where you are, turn on your GPS and use these location pins.

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 whats 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 licence 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.