Staying Safe in Bars and Nightclubs

Staying Safe in Bars and Nightclubs

It goes without saying that alcohol impairs judgment and decision-making. However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t be able to go out and have fun, if you just plan ahead a little and take a few simple precautions:

Stay Aware

  • Be aware of your surroundings and what is happening around you. Pay attention if something seems wrong or suspicious about a situation.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Buy your own drinks, or get trusted friends to do this. Do not accept drinks from people that you do not know well.
  • Avoid drinking so much that you lose your sense of judgement or pass out.
  • Do not fall asleep alone in a bar/club.

Go Out with People You Know and Trust

  • Identify trusted friends beforehand. Try to distinguish between these and casual acquaintances.
  • Travel to and from the bar/club with these friends.
  • Check in with friends regularly during the evening, and try to make sure that you look out for each other.
  • Do not wander off alone when intoxicated, and try to keep friends in sight.
  • Do not leave alone. If this is unavoidable, then let friends know that you are leaving, and get them to check in with you to see that you’ve arrived home safely.
  • If you do need to travel alone, then use a reputable taxi service. Grab allows you to share your journey with others to let them know you are safe.

Ask for Help!

  • Establish a ‘code word or phrase’ to use with friends that alerts them if you feel threatened or uncomfortable. Something easy to remember but distinctive.
  • Do not be afraid to walk away or make an excuse to do so, if uncomfortable. Have a pre-arranged ‘excuse’ with friends to allow you to leave an uncomfortable or threatening situation without conflict. Do not feel ashamed to use this, even if you are not sure about the threat. Better safe than sorry.
  • Talk to bar staff and alert them if someone is bothering you.

Avoid Being Seen as an Easy Target

Perpetrators of sexual violence often choose who to assault based on whether or not they are seen as being an ‘easy target’. Much of this is based upon whether they believe someone to be easy to overpower or control, through assessing movement and body language. The link below shows tips on how to modify that body language in order to reduce the chances of being seen as vulnerable:

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