Last night whilst walking through my high street having been for a meal with my friend we both commented on the scores of girls falling around on the pavement consumed by alcohol. Then there were those that weren't drinking but still out to have a good time with their friends, dressed up and ready for a fun evening of dancing and chatting and it was nice to see them all enjoying themselves. The conversation turned to how my daughter would be of that age in 7 years time, a long way off, but still – and my first thought, as maybe most parents would be, was for her safety and how important it was to be street wise. You see God forbid and through experience I can write this, to be in a situation where you feel threatened is not one you'd ever want to put yourself through. So taking a break from writing about my usual beauty, I thought I'd write up a few tips on staying safe, pass on to your friends, mums give to your daughters, just stay safe x
- Always carry a mobile phone with you or make sure someone in your crowd has a phone. Give an emergency number to family and let someone know where you are going. Try to conceal your phone, so its not used as a target to steal and never walk along at night chatting on it, you need to be vigilant. Same with an Ipod, never use in the dark.
- Carry spare cash and be strict not to spend it - however, if you don't trust yourself then leave some at home so you can pay a cab driver.
- NEVER leave your drinks unattended. Its easy to spike drinks with drugs that are clear and odourless. Do not accept a drink from a stranger, but if you do, go with him to the bar and let the attendant hand to you directly.
- Share your transport home with friends. Be sensible, don't sit next to a cab driver, sit in the back – if you're getting a bus, stay at the front next to the driver.
- Always use licensed taxis and carry the number of a well known taxi firm. If there is a long wait, stay with friends in a well lit area. No matter how tired or tempted never accept a lift from a stranger. When booking a taxi, ask for the drivers name and make/model of the car.
- If you are walking home, never do the journey alone. Stay with friends and don't be tempted to take short cuts through alleyways. Keep in well lit areas.
- Carry a personal alarm – there are lots on the market which are small but powerful but used will give you the chance to shock your attacker so you can get away.
Finally the most important tip is to LISTEN and LOOK! Be alert. Your senses and instinct are what will protect you. You'll notice that I haven't put anything about alcohol. Unfortunately if you go with the mindset, you are going to get drunk, then this will of course put all your defences down. So be prepared before you hit the town. Try to limit your drinks or alternate one alcohol with one water/soda.
If you are attacked, contact the police IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait. They will need evidence so do not shower or wash your clothes. DNA samples can be taken from inside the mouth so don't eat, smoke or drink. Tell a friend or family member as you will need lots of support, especially as you will have to remember as much detail to give to the police whilst its in your mind.
Hopefully you won't ever be in a threatened situation, please pass these tips on, stay safe this Christmas and God Bless.