Here's some advice from Jennifer Cassetta, self-defense expert and author of Hear Me Roar.
Hi Spring Breakers!
I remember how fun spring break can be. I also know how easy it could be to get yourself into a dangerous situation. If you’re traveling to a place you’ve never been, there’s always the risk of looking like a tourist. Then there’s the whole party aspect. Whether it’s you or a friend, someone is bound to have one too many drinks and with that comes potential danger too.
College-aged students are at the highest risk for being sexually assaulted. Spring break should be fun but it's important not to let your guard down too much. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while still having a good time:
- Practice social media safety.
Never post your location in real time. You never need to let everyone know where you are exactly when you are there. Use the hashtag #Latergram, and post your best selfies when you’ve left that place. No need to tag your location or check in anywhere. Doing so only helps potential stalkers find you quicker.
- Act like a local.
Study maps of your destination before you head out on the town so you don’t have to whip them out on the street. Talk to the concierge at your hotel and look online for local tips. The less you look like a tourist the less you look like a target.
- Safe cocktail consumption.
This comes straight from my book, Hear Me Roar: How to Defend Your Mind, Body and Heart Against People Who Suck. Know your limits, which should be no more than 2-3 drinks. Keep your drink in your sights at all times and never accept a drink from a stranger. Drink one glass of water per alcoholic drink to keep yourself hydrated and you’ll wind up thanking yourself in the morning.
If you see someone else on the verge of blacking out, be a friend and make sure that person gets home safely. This goes for guys and girls alike. I went to college with a guy who wound up dead in the East River after a night out at the bars. If someone was looking out for him, maybe that could have been prevented.
- Sound your alarm!
Carry your SABRE personal alarm on your keychain at all times and trust your gut. If it feels suspicious, it probably is. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, sound your alarm to deter an attacker and let others know that you need help.
I would also carry a SABRE Campus Pepper Gel in your purse as an extra precaution. If you were attacked you can use it to spray at your attackers face and eyes to incapacitate him so you can get away safely.
- Have a transportation plan.
Are you footing it to the bar? Do have a designated driver? Or are you taking taxis to and from? Make a plan with your friends before you head out and be sure everyone leaves together. Don’t ever let yourself or a friend separate from the group and leave the party with a stranger. Whoever parties together, leaves together :).
Have fun and let us know if you have any questions!