Halloween, for many, is the best time of the year. Girls fill the streets of their college town, donning the costumed armor of Joan of Arc or the patriotic colors of sexy Wonder Woman. With body glitter and stomachs full of Deep Eddy’s, these young women hit all the bars, frat parties, and house ragers they can hit in three days. There is a suspicious blanket of safety felt in the sheer number of fellow girls walking the streets. However, here’s your friendly reminder to put safety first this Halloween!
Not only does Halloween grant assaulters the gift of anonymity, but it also perpetuates an environment of intoxication and questionable decision-making. When you’re left alone by your friends in a strange house or bar, anything can happen. That’s why I’ve made an (albeit) list of foolproof ways to stay safe this year.
- Stay with the crowd at all times:
One of the easiest ways to stay safe this Halloween is sticking with friends and trying to stay in large groups. One in three women, according to the CDC, has experienced sexual harassment in a public place. This statistic is particularly frightening when you think about how many women might experience sexual harassment in privacy as compared to this public number. While it is impossible to really know what goes on in the minds of assaultors, it makes sense to remain in large groups on Halloween, just to help discourage any potentially negative behavior.
- Have fun, but stay aware:
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “most sexual assaults take place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and especially so when alcohol is involved. While it can be fun to dance around with your friends and throw caution to the wind, try to be mindful of your surroundings. Is at least one person in your group sober enough to watch you for the night? Are you able to stay largely conscious and aware when in these public environments on Halloween? Of course, I’m not trying to kill any fun with this reminder; it’s never a bad thing to have a fun night. Still, when the threat of violence against women culminates in a perfect evening like Halloween, it is important to remain aware of what’s happening around you.
- Have a plan for getting home:
While meeting a mysterious, masked man at the local bar seems like every girl’s fantasy, chances are that boy is not the guy you’re going to marry. Don’t bank on him taking care of you. Instead, have a secure plan on how to get yourself home or, at least, back to a friend’s house. Plans for the night can always change, but the last thing you want is to be left high and dry on the street corner at 3 a.m.
Beyond just these rules, ladies, please be sure you’re looking out for one another this Halloween. The best thing you can do as a bystander is helping when you see something wrong. Stay safe and be sure to post those sexy costumes.