Girls Night Out
While many women are aware of the unfortunate danger of simply strolling down a street at night, they are often at the same time unbelieving of the real risk.
Simple daily activities like a morning jog, a post office or grocery run, or meeting friends for lunch all require a degree of caution, but no situation has proven more dangerous for women than a girls’ night out.
When we consume alcohol or are otherwise distracted in a group, our good sense is often hindered and our abilities to fight back impaired, which is just one of the reasons that so many instances of sexual assault take place on college campuses. Predators find easy potential victims by targeting women who are impaired and incapacitated.
But you don’t have to be a helpless victim. The following guide can help you protect yourself and your friends while enjoying a girls’ night out with a little bit of common sense, a few self-defense measures, and some preparation.
There are various ways to prepare yourself for dangerous situations that ensure you are constantly prepared for an emergency, whether they occur while you are out at the grocery store or out on the town.
First of all, the pistol you bought for self-defense isn’t doing you any good sitting at home. If you own a handgun, consider pursuing a concealed carry license. There are various concealed carry holster options available that are specifically designed for women. These allow you to customize your placement so your firearm is fully concealed, even in that little black dress.
Alternative and back-up options should include pepper spray, tactical knives, and an entire arsenal of self-defense moves that you have practiced at home or in a class.
Confidence, Common Sense, and Vigilance
In any given situation, you should be able to rely on three lines of defense. Remaining aware of people and your surroundings at all times is your first line of defense. The second is to run from danger, and the third is to confront it.
These are achieved by remembering three of your most vital self-defense mechanisms: confidence, common sense, and vigilance. These mechanisms guide you in predicting possible risks and steer you away from trouble to avoid blindly walking into a dangerous situation.
As a self-defense measure, self-confidence is key, and every woman should try to convey a sense of both strength and capability in her body language while out on the town.
Remember, predators are not looking for a fight: They are looking for an easy target. They look for outward signs of physical inferiority or weakness. In these situations, simply walking and refraining from displaying nervous tics, such as tapping your foot or wringing your hands, can be a lifesaver.
The importance of self-confidence does not only hold true for your first line of defense but the second and third as well.
In a situation where an attacker is approaching you, remain confident. Square your shoulders toward the assailant and maintain eye-contact as you clearly vocalize a warning that they should stay back.
If you reach your third line of defense, in which the attacker has decided to pursue you, fight back confidently. In these situations, hesitation can be lethal, and it can give your opponent the advantage they need to subdue you. Never hesitate to inflict as much debilitating power on your attacker as necessary.
Practicing good common sense requires using your practical judgment in any given situation to always knowingly make the most prudent choices for your own safety and the safety of your friends. It is about putting your safety first and being able to assess and avoid a potentially bad outcome, no matter how tempting or convenient the less safe options may be.
During a girls’ night out, temptation is simply everywhere. The temptations to consume exorbitant amounts of alcohol, split off into groups in search of food or other bars, and accept convenient rides home from strangers that just so happen to be headed to the same neighborhood are all potentially life-threatening situations that should be avoided.
But making choices according to common sense does not mean your group is relegated to your living room and a night of twiddling your thumbs: It simply means you should have a plan.
First of all, though it may be tempting to hit the town alone and go to your own favorite spots, it is important to remember there is strength in numbers. Being part of a group can be enough to deter predators and keep yourself safe.
When planning your night, it’s important to choose one or more designated non-drinkers, depending on the size of your group. The designated non-drinkers help to keep an eye out for the members of your group. If you go out frequently, consider instituting a system of rotating the responsibility of designated non-drinker among your friend group so everyone has a turn taking responsibility.
Plan out your transportation needs before starting the night, and make sure no one who is visibly impaired enters a taxi, bus, or subway alone at the end of the night. You can do this by pre-ordering a cab or multiple cabs from a reputable company before the night even starts, or putting together go-home groups by neighborhood.
If you anticipate a late-night food run, plan for it: Scout out potential dining spots that are near to your bar or event location that everyone agrees on, to prevent splitting up.
Always be aware of your environment, strangers, and the members of your group and never make exceptions concerning your safety. In other words, remain vigilant.
As the designated non-drinker, it is up to you to tell a member of the group they’ve had enough. You’re not ruining their night; you’re protecting their well-being, no exceptions.
If you are out at a party, bar, or nightclub, never set your drink down and leave it unattended. This provides the perfect opportunity for a predator to slip something into your drink. If you or a member of your group needs to use the restroom, watch one another’s drinks to ensure safety.
Keep your bag closed and on your person. This prevents the chances that a potential attacker can slip tracking devices into your purse.
Finally, keep an eye out for anyone whose attention or glances make you uncomfortable. If something feels off, then it probably is. Trust that gut feeling; it’s usually right.
Take the time to prepare yourself and your group for a night out on the town to ensure your safety. In the best-case scenarios, you’ll never even have to use your arsenal of self-defense skills on your fun and relaxing night out with your friends. In the worst-case scenarios, you are fully prepared to take on any and every threat that you face.