Please, ladies, don't hate the messenger! This article breaks the traditional code of conduct for girls to be quiet and passive, but it's for a good cause:
We want to party. But we also want to live.
To do them both, we have to realize the risk factors in every step to partying our butts off while being fully aware of our surroundings at all times.
More importantly, females should be cautious of all company we keep. The fact that we can get attacked by strangers, acquaintances, friends, or even family is indisputable. Although I am not a trained professional regarding these matters, I am a mother and a survivor of rape, abuse, violence, and more.
This guide is a compilation of stats, resources, and other need-to-know facts about how females can party safely.
The truth about a woman's or girls' survival during any traumatic event will always vary. What worked for you and me might not work for the girl next to us.
There is a fighter in all of us; we throw punches differently and win wars together. You're throwing a punch just by reading articles like this because you are proactively finding means to protecting yourself and possibly your friends or family!
Females should be able to have fun and make it home without being assaulted. Clubbing, dating, and other forms of partying for teenage girls and women alike come at a cost that many females are unaware of until it is too late.
The scary part is that I am not referring to the life-threatening virus that has spread worldwide in a few months. Although Covid 19 will also now be included as a risk factor, I am referring to ALL of the other dangers females should be aware of before, during, and after the party stops.
"Don't get the party started before you're ready for war!"
We never know when, where, or who the next threat will come from. Our lives are in constant danger, and the less you accept it, the more at risk you take.
"Know the stats." To know how to increase the chances of surviving an attack with preparation and tools at your disposal.
Although the (NSVRC) National Sexual Violence Resource Center does not conduct their own research, they do have the ability to share a vast pool of research from sources like the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the U.S. Department of Justice.
One survey, in particular, convinced me to write this blog on a friendly Friday night to empower my free-spirited girls to party wisely.
According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) that was conducted in 2010, sexual violence by any perpetrator had many dire consequences on the victim, be it male or female. There have been subsequent reports on this matter, but this was the largest ever performed at one time and references the significant problems arising from sexual, physical, and stalking events as well as how the victims suffered because of them.
The report interviewed 9,086 women and 7,421 men on the subject matter. The findings are shocking enough to encourage taking safety precautions seriously.
Be cautious and never assume a male friend cannot "be that kind of guy" because there is no such thing! Some predators change with alcohol or drugs, and others are waiting for you to be vulnerable.
Predators can be really charming or super creepy. They can be handsome, rich, and powerful or poor and unattractive.
Sadly, some women have joined men in targeting girls/women for victimization. Do not trust women to protect you when trouble suddenly appears.
Do not assume a woman will not hand you to the highest bidder because it happens every single day! Say this to yourself the next time you think about accepting a drink or drugs and try to avoid the risk altogether. Or take steps to minimize being a victim.
Before the Party
#1- Do not post private or personal information on social media platforms until it is safe to do so!
As tempting as it may be to tell everyone about the big plans you have and publicly display pictures that reference a location, please do not do it. Those can be used by predators to track and possibly hurt you. Your description, location, and other information should be kept private because those can be inadvertently used as "stats" by perpetrators against you.
#2- Drinking and taking drugs before the party even starts is the best way to wind up in jail, attacked, in the hospital, or worse.
However, this is sadly when the party begins for most people. That's because alcohol at the club costs more than alcohol at the house. Besides, that's what people have been doing since man tasted that first sour grape and threw a party shortly afterward.
(That's not a fact!) Just a bad joke.
The following is a fact that I want all ladies under the age of 21 to pay close attention to:
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), excessive drinking in persons under the age of 21 contributes to more than 3,500 deaths per year.
However, that does not always stop young ladies from accessing it, overdoing it, and possibly experiencing traumatic events because of alcohol or drug use. Not to mention it is against the law.
Freedom is worth more than a buzz. The life that can be forever destroyed because of illegal drugs or underage drinking is not always your own.
The probability of a fun time or the worst day of your life depends on making the right decisions throughout the party-going experience, and that includes the company you keep.
Being drunk or high in public in the era of the smartphone is reckless. The wrong picture taken at the wrong time has an ironic way of showing up when you least need it to.
Friends can take advantage of you in this state, and so can boyfriends, sexual partners, or even spouses. Drinking and taking drugs renders females weaker both mentally and physically. That's why the boys have been known to try to booze a chick up during a date or seamless innocent activity like "hanging out and having a few."
Some people are hilarious when drunk and other people are violent, unpredictable, or down-right dangerous. You might not know how a person reacts until it is too late for safety.
Your group should have a designated "sober" driver before you leave for the party. Once drinking begins, it will be hard to decipher the sober from the tipsy party member. The option of getting a cab as a group is much safer than driving under the influence or taking a cab solo, especially while under the influence of any narcotics.
#3- Online dating sites cannot guarantee your safety; only you can do that.
Meeting a sexy stranger in a dim-lit restaurant for a first date can be the beginning of a beautiful romance or the start of a stalker that will not take no for an answer.
Seek professional help for questions, concerns, and more advice about a potential stalker.
Contact The National Stalking Helpline by completed the online form found on their site:
www.suzylamplugh.org, or by phone at 0(808)802-0300.
The National Center for Victims of Crime has articles and more in-depth information about stalking.
Please see their website:
www.victimsofcrime.org/stalking or contact by phone at 1(202)467-8700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
#4- Travel safely - Youth and cuteness can be wiped away in a second at the hands of a stranger, an acquaintance, or frightfully, a best friend.
Feeling a nice buzz and getting behind the wheels of a vehicle is not only dangerous and illegal, but that nice buzz can ruin your life or possibly take one. Please, don't risk it!
If you are going out solo and plan on drinking, take an Uber, Lyft, or other taxi-like means of transportation.
However, be extremely careful while in someone else's vehicle or company. Call and then stay on the phone with friends or family before you get inside the vehicle.
Try to avoid too much contact/personal interactions or conversations with a complete stranger. They might be a great person but they also might be dangerous and waiting to attack you the moment they can.
Always be on guard until you exit the vehicle and you are back in a safe environment. Apps like Facetime, WhatsApp, and so forth are great, so you have a witness to the drivers' description and behavior during your ride.
Snap a shot of the guy if he is really out of line and report him to authorities as soon as it is safe to do so.
Always make mental notes of people that literally have your life in their hands. Unfortunately, the driver has a degree of power when a female is alone in a vehicle that can be trick-locked (this happens when they rig the door to not unlock or open from inside the vehicle) and easily drives her to her doom.
Aggression, abusive language, or any inappropriate behavior is unprofessional and unacceptable. Be extremely careful if the driver begins to act in this manner.
Please do not feel guilty for the attacks others make and do not hesitate to call for help the moment something feels wrong (i.e., when the driver passes the street you're headed to without immediately turning around when you point it out).
#5- Plan around hazardous environmental conditions:
Check updated information about this matter and follow advice to avoid getting sick or spreading sickness to your friends or family.
Ensure they are not locked so, in the event of a fire, shooting, stabbing, or aliens show up; you can quickly escape.
Have a plan and meet-up location for friends in an emergency, like a local store or restaurant. "Trampling" of innocent people during emergency evacuations is a high-risk factor, so please be mindful of this before getting tipsy inside of a packed club or other location.
Poor lighting may set the mood, but it also sets females up to be fondled by a stranger. Being able to recognize the people around you is critical to minimalizing that risk.
Shootings and other acts of violence affect millions of people every year. Poor lighting, alcohol, drugs, jealousy, and other dangerous triggers can set off real triggers from real guns that can literally kill you.
Be mindful of your surroundings at all times and get to the nearest exits when arguments begin because it is usually soon after that a weapon of some kind is pulled out.
#6- Have some form of self-defense on your body or in your purse at all times. This can be as simple as pepper spray or as hard-hitting as a gun (legally purchased and licensed).
Please remember to follow the rules for local and state laws in regards to self-defense weapons that are lethal vs. those that are not lethal, as this information changes from state to state.
There are several new self-defense products that hit the market every day, and a person can easily get lost in the smoke.
Check reviews from more than one site to confirm the accuracy and quality of products that you are considering using for self-defense. Next, practice actually pulling the weapon from wherever you plan on keeping it throughout the party.
Can you access your (always legal) weapon easily, fast, and discreetly?
Practice until you can, and do not show anyone that you know how to do this. You never know who is truly a friend, secretly hating you, or wants to harm you because those are the secrets that some people keep.
During the Party
#1- Keep friends close! It's harder to attack a group of three than it is a group of one.
#2- Monitor the monitors! These are the people (or persons) always secretly watching, whispering, and possibly taking pictures of you or your friends.
#3- Avoid drinking, drugs, or anything else that can make you appear like easy prey at the party. Please, be careful when a fight of any level (verbal or physical) starts. Weapons are not always visible until it may be too late to flee safely. It is wise to quickly grab your friends and get out of there before escalations of violence get out of control.
#4- Different drugs and alcoholic beverages do different things to our bodies. Please know what you are taking, the risk involved, and then talk yourself out of doing them! This is going to suck to hear, but you need to know the facts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a searchable database called CDC Wonder. According to the site www.wonder.cdc.gov/, overdoses from opioids killed nearly 47,000 people in 2018, of which 32% were prescribed by a doctor. See their data about the drug overdose epidemic for more detailed information on this matter.
#5- Drinking (or taking drugs) and driving is the worst thing you can do! Risking your life and those in the vehicle with you as well as innocent bystanders is only the beginning of complications that can come from driving while under the influence of any narcotic substances. Don't do it, please; I ask you as a mom and woman who does not want you to experience that pain.
Have fun sober and keep your wig on straight too.
After the Party
If you and friends made it home safe and sound, please remember the following:
#1- Lock the doors and make sure windows are secure.
#2- Hydrate. Drink plenty of WATER to rehydrate after partying, especially when alcohol or drugs were consumed. An overdose on either can happen without warning, as narcotics affect us all differently.
#3- Set your alarm for work, school, kids, or yoga class and plan for next week's girls' night out.
If you or a friend experienced a traumatic event like rape, violence, or anything that should be reported to local authorities, please call 911.Or follow/access resources for help with whatever circumstances may have happened immediately or as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please remember the following:
#1- It was not your fault! You are not to blame, and you will survive because that is what women do:
We are survivors, you come from a long line of survivors, and adverse events do not dictate your future. You have control over what happens now. You can call for help if you need it, get support and advice from trained professionals, and you can do this all-knowing NONE of it was your fault!
#2- Do not destroy evidence.
#3- Contact/consult a trained professional for guidance or assistance.
Remember, there are many helplines to choose from, like local or nationwide, and so forth. The support lines are here to help and will direct you to the appropriate channel, so please reach out to trained professionals when in need or doubt.
CDC. (2020, September 3). Age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age. Retrieved from cdc.gov: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/minimum-legal-drinking-age.htm CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, December 7). Opioid Overdose - Data. Retrieved from cdc.gov: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/ National Institutes of Health. (2021, January 29). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates NSVRC. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved from nsvrc: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf