Teenagers: General Safety Tips

As Teenagers are prone to risky behaviour and experimental, here are few ground rules to help keep them safe:-

Staying Safe when Going Out:

  • Always make sure you have a safe way home at night
  • Make sure someone always knows where you are going and when you will be back, even if they only have a general idea
  • Being alone at night is never a good idea when traveling outside.  It is always a good idea to go out in a group or at least with one other person
  • Avoid isolated areas at night since that is where you are the most vulnerable.  Do not take unnecessary shortcuts at night that are out of the way and could be potentially dangerous
  • If you have a cell phone, it is a good idea to bring it with you so you have easy access in case you need to make a call
  • Carry extra money for auto/cab in case you get stuck for a ride
  • Don’t travel with people that you don’t know well or trust.  They may put you in a situation that you don’t want to be in
  • If you are walking at night, stay alert to your surroundings
  • If you are taking public, sitting such that you are not isolated be a good idea

Tips to help Avoid Situations that might lead to Sexual Abuse:

  • Examine your feelings about sex before going too far. Do not just decide what you feel “in the moment.” Deciding beforehand will make you less vulnerable to persuasion and forced intercourse.
  • Set sexual limits for yourself. Do not perform or let anyone perform any sexual act towards you that makes you feel uncomfortable that exceeds your limit. Never feel ashamed about setting limits.
  • If the person you are interested in is someone worth dating, they will respect your limits.
  • Communicate firmly and early to your partner what your expectations for sexual encounters are. This will make it easier for your partner to know and accept your decision.
  • Don’t be afraid to be forceful and firm if you feel uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable or fearful in a situation then get out of there, listen to your instincts.
  • Be aware that alcohol and drugs are often related to date rape. Be sure to always have a friend with you who you trust in situations where you are drinking or using drugs and watch out for each other.

Staying Safe when Drugs and Alcohol are Involved:

  • Always go out with a group or at least one other person you trust.  This is in case you or your friends become drunk; at least there are others there to make you look and feel less vulnerable to potentially dangerous situations.
  • Never consume an unknown substance because you never know the effects it can have on your body and your mental state of mind. If you consume something that you don’t know the effects of, you may end up in an incoherent state and you may not have the ability to think about your own safety.
  • Don’t accept alcohol (or drugs for that matter) from people you don’t know and trust. You might think you know what is in it and what it will do to you, but it only takes a moment for someone to add an additional drug or other substance to that drink to make you much more intoxicated and vulnerable then that drink should have made you.
  • Never get into a car where the driver has been drinking or doing drugs.
  • Always look out for intoxicated friends.  If friends of yours or people you know become intoxicated, keep an eye out for them in order to prevent them from being in a compromising situation.
  • Never leave with someone that you don’t know that well.  Although you don’t want to travel alone at night, you don’t want to get a ride or leave with someone you can’t completely trust either.

(Source: UMSL)