Are You Safe?
The greatest risk of being assaulted comes from people we know. Unfortunately, a great deal of violence happens in relationships and dating situations.
- Trust Your Instincts. When your intuition says that something's wrong, trust it. You know when you feel scared, uncomfortable, or that you are doing something that doesn't feel right in order to please someone else. Some warning signs of a bad date are: aggressive behaviour, jealousy, attempts to control and isolate you from others, put downs, sexist remarks (or racist, homophobic or other derogatory comments about people), unpleasant sex, and heavy use of alcohol or drugs.
- Be Clear. You can't expect anyone to know how you are feeling unless you say something. If you feel ill at ease in any situation, tell the person you are with. Try not to get cornered into an uncomfortable situation. You should not give someone the impression that you feel secure and happy with them if you really do not. If you don't like what's happening, say so in a strong and assertive voice. ''I Don't Like What You're Doing! Stop!''
- Alcohol and Drugs. Alcohol and drugs are part of life these days. Aside from the fact that some are unhealthy and illegal, they can also cause a great loss of control over our bodies and minds. It is wise and safest to be with people you completely trust when using these substances. If you are going to use them, think: "Am I in control?" "Can I take care of myself?" Your best defence is your mind, and if that's not together you don't have much of a chance.
- Pocket Money. Make sure you have enough pocket money to get home. You never know what might happen, and it's a good way to be independent. Keep the number of a taxi company in your pocket or wallet just in case you can't get a safe ride home. Always know the address you are at.