So you’ve decided to meet your new date. Here’s when your physical safety becomes paramount. To avoid becoming a victim of dating violence, which may involve emotional abuse as well as physical harm or sexual violence, here’s a checklist of things to bear in mind before you head out to meet them:
- Inform a friend or family member about the location and time of your date. Get them to call you at a predetermined time to check if you’re fine. And maybe bail you out of a bad date, too, if needed.
- Always arrange to meet in an open, public place, such as a busy café or restaurant, at least for the first date.
- Decided to meet at a quiet place? Plan how to get away if things get unsafe. Unplug those earphones and stay alert, so that you can observe any unusual activity around you.
- Avoid drinking too much or taking drugs, as these may affect your sense of judgment and ability to protect yourself.
- Be assertive. Say 'no' if you’re uncomfortable with any physical sexual advances, and leave if they persist.
- Having them over? Lock your valuables away.
- Keep condoms and lube at hand, even if you may think sex isn’t on the agenda. It’s always a good thing to have one within easy reach, just in case sex is on the table.
- It's OK to say 'no' if they refuse to use protection.
- If you're in an unfamiliar place, such as when you're travelling or in a new city, think of your personal safety.