Here are some important things to keep in mind to reduce your risk:
Safety on the Streets
When walking down on the street look confident. Keep your eyes in front of you and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t keep your head down in your phone or have your music too loud if wearing earbuds. Be familiar with the neighborhood and know where you are going. Ask a friend or family member for a ride if you don’t feel comfortable walking home at night.
If you are not ready to have sex than say “no”. You do not have to feel as if you owe someone sex because you went on a date with them. Keep a clear mind when considering if you want to have sex-don’t mix drugs or alcohol with sexual decisions.
If you are at a party or on a date and start feeling uncomfortable trust your gut and get out of the situation.
If you are going out with someone new or someone you met online have a group date or meet them in a public place.
Watch your Beverages
When you are out keep an eye on your drink. An unattended drink or accepting a drink from a stranger could be dangerous. Many rapes occur with the help of drugs being slipped into a victim’s drink and most of these drugs you cannot taste or smell. When you go to the bathroom or on the dance floor keep your drink with you. Be careful drinking from a punch bowl at a party.
Most times a survivor knows their perpetrator. If someone you know (family member, friend, acquaintance, co-worker) makes you feel uncomfortable tell them, tell someone or don’t spend time with them. Perpetrators may start with sexualized comments, getting into your physical space all the time, offering to do things for you or buy things for you before any violence begins. Trust your gut!