Increase Your Personal Safety
- Try not to share drinks or drink communal beverages.
- Try not to accept drinks from someone you don’t know well. 80% of women who are assaulted know their perpetrator to some degree.
- Bring your own drinks to parties.
- Watch your drink, take it with you when you dance or go to the washroom.
- If you need to smoke, try to wait until you finish your drink.
- Watch out for your friends and try to leave a social gathering with friends you trust.
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts to tell you what to do.
How Do I Know If A Drink Has Been Spiked?
You might not be able to see, smell or taste if your drink has been spiked—the drug may be colourless, odourless, and may not affect the taste of your drink.
What Can I Do at a Party, Bar, Pub or Club?
First, in any situation, assess whether or not it is safe for you to get directly involved in preventing a potential incident. If it might be dangerous for you to intervene directly, you can still be an active bystander! Involve others, including bar staff, friends and acquaintances. Text or call for help. Call the police if you need to. The one thing predators are hoping you will do is look the other way. Don’t.
Get into the habit of being aware of your surroundings. Most of us are already checking people out at bars and parties anyway! Just make it a bit more focused. While checking everyone out, scan the room to see that nothing strange or suspicious is going on. Keep your eyes open for someone who might be in trouble.
Watch out for both friends and strangers. Be alert for potentially dangerous situations including drink spiking, predatory behaviour, or harassment.
Speak up. Is someone bragging about attempting to get someone drunk to prevent them from saying no? Are they scoping the dance floor for someone who looks drunk enough to be an easy target? This is not seduction. This is a crime. Call them on it.
Go with your gut. You see a scenario that you are not sure about, a woman you don’t know who is extremely intoxicated being led out of the bar by a man you don’t know. Your gut tells you something isn’t right, but it could be harmless, maybe she knows him and he is getting her home safe. But maybe your first instinct is true. Take a minute to ask her if she is ok, if she knows the person she is with, if she wants to go with that person. A brief check-in by you could change everything. If your instinct was wrong, no harm done. If it wasn’t, you just blocked a predator and may have saved someone’s life.
Is someone slurring speech, having trouble walking, or doesn’t seem to know what’s going on? Maybe that person is too drunk to get home safe. Maybe that person has been drugged. Find out what you can do to help, or get bar staff involved.
Don’t look the other way. Look predators right in the eye with your actions and inform them in no uncertain terms that they and their crimes are no longer welcome in YOUR space. Party space does not belong to predators, even though they think it does. Reclaim your party space as a place for you and your friends to have fun safely.
Do you have more suggestions? Email us! What kind of interventions have you seen in action? Would you intervene to prevent a sexual assault? Why or Why not? If so, how would you intervene? Have you ever been an active bystander? Tell us about it. We want your stories, feedback and experiences. Talk to each other and talk to us. Let’s share what works.