- Consider double-dating the first few times you go out with a new person.
- Before leaving on a date, know the exact plans for the evening and make sure a parent or friend knows these plans and what time to expect you home. Let your date know that you are expected to call or tell that person when you get in.
- Be aware of your decreased ability to react under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you leave a party with someone you do not know well, make sure you tell another person you are leaving and with whom. Ask a friend to call and make sure you arrived home safely.
- Assert yourself when necessary. Be firm and straightforward in your relationships.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of an excuse to exit the situation quickly.
Everyone has rights in a relationship. You have THE RIGHT:
- To trust yourself and your instincts
- To be respected as a person
- To change your mind
- To express your feelings
- To refuse a date
- To not be physically, emotionally, or sexually abused
- To break up with someone who makes you feel bad
- To just say “No!”
If your partner is abusive:
- Speak to a counsellor or crisis line (HNWS – 1-800-265-8076) to learn about ways to stay safe while in the relationship, or if you are thinking about breaking up with your partner.
- Memorize a crisis line number (HNWS – 1-800-265-8076) and keep your cell phone charged; you can always call 911 even if you have no minutes/time.
- Develop a code word with friends/family that lets them know you are in trouble.
After leaving an abusive relationship, it is important to STAY safe:
- Mix up your schedule to discourage stalking. Walk with friends.
- Block your ex partner and their friends on your social networking sites and messenger (like Facebook and MSN).
- Consider a no – contact order from the police/court.
- Change your cell number or have your provider block your ex’s number.
Adapted from the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Family Resources, Inc.