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We all know what the end of October means. Spooky music, haunting movies, candy overdoses, jack-o-lanterns, and whimsical or terrifying costumes. Whatever your affinity be, there is no doubt that Halloween is just around the corner.

 

By: Kourtney Meldrum

From a young age, October 31st—the day of haunting and sugar-induced comas—is a long-awaited occasion. But as we get older meaning of Halloween changes for us.

All Hallows’ Eve becomes less focused on a fun evening of trick-or-treating and more focused on being able to get dressed and have a good time with your friends—usually still with more treats and fewer tricks involved. Though this doesn’t come without its own set of haunting repercussions—especially for women. On a night where individuals find the excuse to get a little bit scary, drink a little bit too much, and hide their own identity, things can often go wrong.

It’s important to keep this in mind when you head out this Halloween. It’s wrong and it’s disturbing, but make sure you always keep your guard up and you’re aware of what’s happening in your surroundings when you’re out.

 

Costume Choices

Women’s costumes have come under criticism year and year again for being too slutty or skanky. If you feel good, if you feel comfortable, then you should be able to go out on the town feeling your best without “asking for it.” If you feel great, wear it. On the other hand, be aware if your costume is culturally insensitive or could come across hurtful to others you should think about how that may make others feel. In that case, you should consider another option.  

 

Where You Go

It may seem overkill, but do some research before you buy your tickets or set a concrete plan for your night out. What kind of clientele does that institution usually hold? Do they host an environment that you’ll feel safe and comfortable in? What area of town is it in? Is it easy to access by transit, or would you be walking? Has this place had any kind of incidents before, and how did they handle them? It’s best to know beforehand what you’re getting yourself into. Or better yet pick somewhere else if you don’t think you’ll feel totally safe there.

 

Be Aware

This seems obvious, but it can’t be stressed enough. Be aware of who is around you, of where your friends are, or where the nearest exits are, of who is talking to you and what they are saying, of who is offering you drinks and where they have come from. This is not saying need to be paranoid. This is saying you need to try to be aware.

 

Who You’re With

Go out with friends who you trust. Also, go out with friends who you’re going to have a good time with. When you make your plans, make them with friends who you know are going to look out for you and are going to make sure that you get home safe with them and not leave you stranded at the club with your phone in their purse. That’s never a fun situation to figure out.

 

Be Smart

Always make sure your phone is charged, that you have a reliable way of getting home and that you have cash on you in case you need it. Never take a drink that you never saw be poured, never leave your drink out of your sight, and avoid individuals in masks. Stay in groups, don’t take shortcuts to get to your destination, and don’t be afraid of asking for help if someone is bothering you. Halloween is meant to be spooky and scary. But some of the terrifying parts of the holiday aren’t the masks or the gore, it’s the events that take place that takes advantage of individuals under the mask of what Halloween is. Until this isn’t acceptable, it’s important to be aware, to follow your gut, and for all of us to look out for each other- and speak up when we see something.

 

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