CAMPSEC: Safety Planning Tips for Parties

Safety planning is about brainstorming ways to stay safe that may also help reduce the risk of future harm.

July 19, 2016
  • Watch out for friends.  If you go in a group, plan to arrive together and leave together.  If you decide to leave early, let your friends know before you leave. 
  • Have a backup plan. You might realize it’s not safe for you to drive home, or the group you arrived with might decide to go somewhere you don’t feel comfortable with or even want to go to. A backup plan in these situations will come in handy, and:
  • Use rideshare apps on your cell phone like Uber or Lyft, or keep the number of a reliable cab company saved in your contacts.
  • And make sure to set aside cash in case you decide to leave so you can take an alternate ride.
  • Know what you are drinking. Consider avoiding large-batch drinks like punches or “jungle juice” that may have deceptively high alcohol content. 
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or worried for any reason, don’t ignore these feelings:
  • Get somewhere safe and find someone you trust or call law enforcement.
  • Don’t leave a drink unattended. That includes when you use the bathroom, go dancing, or leave to make a phone call:
  • Take the drink with you or trash it.
  • Avoid using the same cup for refills.
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust.
  • Be aware of sudden changes in the way your body feels. Drugs can be odorless and colorless and/or tasteless, and can be added to your drink without you noticing.  So, if you feel odd, tell a friend and have them take you to a safe place.

  • If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, call 911, and be upfront with healthcare professionals. Ask yourself, “Would I do this if I was sober?” “Will I be comfortable with this decision in the morning?” The laws about consent vary by state and situation. 
  • Everyone can have a role in preventing sexual assault and there are many different ways that you can step in or make a difference. The key to keeping you and your friends safe is learning how to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level:

    • Create a distraction: whatever you can to interrupt the situation. A distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place. 
    • Defer to an authority:  sometimes the safest way to intervene is to get help from someone with authority to change the situation, like an RA or security officer/guard. It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone.
    • Enlist another person to support you.

What is consent? Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in any activity. How does consent work in real life? When you’re engaging in any activity, consent is about communicationAnd it should happen every time.  Giving    consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring contact. You can change your mind at any me. You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable.