SAFTEY TIPS FOR LGBTQ YOUNG ADULTS

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.

GENERAL TIPS – Going Out

  • Trust your gut – If you feel threatened or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible
  • Leave a trail – Let someone you trust know your fabulous plans, including if you hook up with someone, where you’re going and how long. If you decide to leave a note, make sure this trusted person knows where you’ve left it.
  • Take a buddy – when heading to and leaving your destination or waiting for transportation.
  • Look alert – If you don’t have a travel buddy, stay alert, look alert, and stick near other people when walking or waiting for transportation.
  • Watch your drink – Or buy your own, just make sure the only person mixing something into it is the bartender.
  • Know your limits – If you’re planning on using substances, including alcohol, decide how much and try to stick to it.
  • Be aware of surroundings – Identify 24 hour establishments to seek help if you feel unsafe. Move towards a “safer place,” like a more public space if you feel unsafe.

ASSERTING YOUR BOUNDARIES

  • Your boundaries are beautiful – You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. “No” is a complete sentence!
  • Be direct – and assertive in your communication.

HOOKING UP

  • Make a safety plan and let someone else know. Tell at least one person about your plans, such as who you’ll be with, a way to get in touch with the person/people that you are meeting, meeting place, and what you plan to do. Plan in advance what will happen if you feel unsafe, such as where they will meet you and whether you want police called.
  • Use your tech. Text yourself or friends about where you’ll be or where you are, the social media handle the person or persons use on the website or phone app. Include a picture of the person, and save messages when using websites and phone apps.
  • Meet in public. Meeting in the public allows for greater options for safety. If possible, bring friends with you, as they can watch your back and give you their impressions. If the person doesn’t look like the picture, ask them about it. If they don’t have an answer you feel comfortable with, leave.
  • Know your limits. If you’re going to drink alcohol, be sure you drink responsibly.
  • Practice safer sex. If you think you may have sex, make it safer sex—bring safer sex supplies and use them. You can get free safer sex supplies at our Get SMART iCHAT office.
  • Incidents of hook-up violence can happen in public spaces such as bars, parks, sex/play parties, etc. Let friends, other patrons, or bar/nightclub staff know if you leave temporarily and when you intend to return. When you are outside, scan the street for establishments (such as a restaurant or car service) where you can go to seek help if you feel unsafe. Don’t leave any drinks or your belongings unattended.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened or unsafe at any point,  exit the situation.
  • You can say no. No matter who initiates or how far you’ve gone, you can stop at any time for any reason.

Getting support if violence does occur

  • It’s not your fault. Nobody has the right to violate your boundaries or commit violence against you, no matter where it happens or how you met.
  • Document the incident. Take photos of any injuries; keep records of emails, texts, calls.
  • Consider medical attention or counseling after an incident. Violence can have many physical and emotional impacts.
  • Take care of yourself. Utilize the help of supportive friends, partners, and family.

These tips are suggestions for staying safer. If you experience violence, do not hesitate to call 911.

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