When you gamble with safety, you bet your life.Unknown
GBV is an ongoing thing that hits every nerve wrong, as women we are to be more cautious than men because of men. Now that we are starting to reopen the economy in South Africa there is no doubt that many want to enjoy the summer days with a few drinks and a group of friends but the sad reality for us women is that our safety isn’t guaranteed.
We belong to an unfortunate society where the length of your dress determines your worth and holding a glass of wine or a beer is an indication that you’re ‘available’ to anyone who wants you. Whenever I’ve gone out with my girls we know how to party well BUT we also know how to fight for each other, not only is having a strong, outspoken girl gang fun, it is also so important because you know that you’re safe in their presence.
You may have a strong group of women that will spot you in public but there are many things that only you can provide yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re out and about that will ensure your safety, and the safety of other ladies:
1. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Have you ever noticed on a night out when a group of girls are together and one of them needs to go to the bathroom or for some fresh air, there is always another girl accompanying her – it’s not an accident. Always have a friend by your side, pick one beforehand and talk about it in the car but don’t walk around making yourself look like you’re rolling solo for the night because you’ve just made yourself an easy target.
2. WATCH YOUR GLASS
This has been preached from before I even knew what a party looked like. Date Rape drugs are not a myth and accepting drinks from men you don’t know shouldn’t be okay. Accepting a drink also gives a man an invitation to pursue you and if you’re not interested then he might get angry, and rage makes you do ANYTHING. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, if the bottle is open keep your mouth closed, if you didn’t see it being poured don’t drink it, if it tastes weird put it down, if you left your drink unattended then you’re done drinking it.
3. CARRY A WEAPON
I don’t mean a firearm. A taser, some mace(pepper spray), those keychain knives, the heel of your stiletto, anything that can do some damage and buy you time to find some help. Don’t be afraid to fight because sometimes no one will help and that’s the sad reality of society. Learn some defense tactics on YouTube, take a self defense class, ask your boyfriend to teach you some protective moves, or if all else fails, kick the misters and don’t feel bad about it.
4. DESIGNATED DRIVER & SPOTTER
There’s many forms of public transportation but that isn’t always reliable and let’s face it, if you’ve had a little too much to drink and you’re in a strangers car, it isn’t the most ideal situation. Even in a sober state, you can feel very defensive in a car with some guy you don’t know. I know all the girls want to have fun but get someone in your group to be the driver that night, maybe Airbnb an apartment close by to avoid a long drive but make sure there’s a sober somebody at all times – someone who can make decisions for you, someone who can slap some sense into you and someone who’s got your back throughout the night.
5. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
Whether I’m in a mall, driving to Brad or out with friends I have this habit to scout out the room or the road. Don’t be negligent of the car that has turned every corner with you, it may be nothing but it’s not impossible that you’re in any eminent danger. When you walk into a bar, a club or a lounge take a look around, identify your exits, bathrooms and bouncers. Look out for creepy guys staring at you for too long, the guy moving closer every few minutes on the dance floor, or the one standing at the bathroom entrance waiting for the girl who doesn’t adhere to tip number 1.
6. BONUS TIP – KEEP OTHER GIRLS SAFE
This is important. If I ever see a girl looking a little flustered or off, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask if she’s alright. Make this a normality, if you see a girl being bothered by a guy, go up to her and “become her friend” and help her get rid of that unwanted man. It is unfortunate that our society has left us in a vulnerable position even in broad daylight but we are not alone ladies, WE HAVE EACH OTHER.
Your safety is NOT a joke. Take it seriously, especially now. Become less self involved when you’re out and be more aware of social cues, if you pay closer attention you can spot a lot of red flags that should alarm you. Help other girls and protect each other. Together we can do so much!!!
What are your go-to safety tips??