LAS VEGAS — The Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas has launched their annual Party Smart campaign.
The center says the most vulnerable segment of the population are young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
According to Daniele Dreitzer, executive director of The Rape Crisis Center, there is a lot people can do to protect themselves and a role for everyone to play in ensuring the safety of their friends, as well as those they may not know. Here are a few tips to stay safe amid the festive atmosphere:
Arrive Together – Before You Go Out
- Choose a friend or group of friends to go with.
- Make a plan for where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
- Decide how everyone will get home. Have a backup plan in case of emergency.
- Choose a code word or signal to let each other know when something isn’t right.
- Let a trusted person know where you will be.
- Charge your phone.
- Download a safety app, such as Circle of 6 .
Stick Together – While You’re There
- Keep an eye on your group. Check in with each other throughout the night to make sure everyone is feeling good and having fun.
- If someone has had little to drink but starts to feel a strong effect quickly or their behavior and movement seems suddenly impaired, get help immediately, they may have been drugged.
- Be an active bystander: Watch for predatory behavior, individuals who won’t take “no” for an answer and anyone who seems to be trying to get a member of the group off by themselves.
- If you see anything that seems odd, tell someone. Law enforcement, security and management at venues all are invested in making the New Year’s experience positive. Engage help if you need to.
Leave Together – When the Party is Over
- Never leave a member of your group behind. Remember: No “buddy” left behind.
- Wait in taxi lines or use ride share services together. Don’t leave anyone in your group in a vulnerable position at the end of the night when predators may be on the prowl.
- Beware of people offering rides or promising to help get people home. Use licensed and labeled transportation options so there is accountability.
- Check in to make sure everyone got home safe. If you can’t reach one of your group members, get help.
- If someone at the party/bar/club behaved in a way that made you or others feel uncomfortable or unsafe, talk about it. Support others who bring up these issues.