Whether you’ve just moved to university and you’re enjoying a messy week of Fresher’s events, or you’re heading out into town on a random Saturday night with your friends, you’re probably very excited!
Nights out are one of the best parts of university life. Being able to dance around to great music with your friends whilst enjoying a drink or two (or five) is exhilarating. It’s a great way to wind down after a long week of lectures and studying.
Most of us don’t give a second thought about our safety when we head out into the town centre. Instead, we’re focusing on which outfit to wear or figuring out how many people can squeeze into the taxi.
However, University safety should be at the forefront of every student’s mind when they are on a night out. This is especially important for females.
In the 10 years leading up to 2018, 1,425 women were killed by men in the UK. Women are also much more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. The Crime Survey for England and Wales showed scary statistics that one in 40 young women said they had been victims of rape in the past year, and one in five women were victims of stalking, which is twice the number for men.
These numbers really highlight the importance of safety for women at university. Every female should be taking the necessary safety precautions when they are out and about.
Here are some of the best ways that you can stay safe whilst you’re on a night out in town with your university friends.
Our Tips to Stay Safe on a Uni Night Out
Arrange Your Travel Beforehand
Many attacks on women occur when they are walking home in the dark by themselves.
Before you head out to the night clubs, plan your route home and make sure multiple people are traveling together. You can share a taxi and split to bill to make it cheaper. Many taxi services enable you to prebook your ride home, so this is something to consider too.
Whatever you do, do not walk home alone, especially if you are leaving the club in the early hours of the morning. Similarly, don’t get into taxis with people you don’t know and don’t accept lifts from strangers. Stick to well-known taxi companies with your close friends only.
Carry an Attack Alarm
Carrying around a rape alarm with you on a night out might seem a little excessive. Your friends might tell you that you’re overthinking or you’re paranoid. However, carrying an attack alarm around your neck or in your bag is one of the best things you can do to maximise your university safety on a night out. They’re small and subtle, so you won’t ruin your outfit or make you feel uncomfortable!
Personal safety alarms are electronic devices that can be activated with the press of a button. If you feel like you’re in danger or you are being attacked, your alarm will enable you to connect directly to response services. Help can be with you in a matter of minutes.
There are some great women’s safety alarms available and they’re one of the most cost-effective and easy ways to keep yourself safe.
Stay Close to Your Friends
It’s important that you and your friends stick together whilst you’re out. Ideally, stay in groups of three or more to maximise your safety.
If one of your friends decides they want to go to another club, go along with them so that your group remains as one.
It’s a good idea to share each other’s numbers too. This way, you can easily contact your friends if you get lost or if your find yourself in danger.
Don’t Leave Your Drink
Unfortunately, there are many people out there that will take advantage of an opportunity when presented with one. These people can carry around liquids and powders that they can easily slip into your drink without you noticing.
This is why you must never leave your drink on the side whilst you’re dancing with your friends. Always hold your drink in your hand or place your thumb over the top of your bottle, and keep your eyes on it at all times.
It’s natural to want a few drinks on a night out with your university friends. You want to loosen up and get a bit drunk! However, it’s important to watch how much you’re drinking. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can put you in a vulnerable state.
If you are drinking alcohol, take it slow and sip on water in between your alcoholic beverages to minimise the chances of you getting too intoxicated.
Stay in Busy Areas
If you live in a town centre where there are lots of other university students, it’s likely to be busy on a Friday or Saturday night. But there are always the quieter areas of town, and it’s these areas that potential attackers are more likely to make a move.
Make sure that you stay in busier areas of the town where there are plenty of people around. Avoid walking down dark, quiet alleyways if you’re traveling between clubs or heading home. There is safety in numbers!
Final Thoughts on Safety
Being a university is one of the best experiences you will ever have. It’s the perfect time to make life-long friends and create special memories. You don’t want these memories to be tainted by sexual assault, harassment, or something more sinister.
This is why university safety is extremely important, particularly when you are on a night out. It’s easy to think ‘that won’t happen to me’, but anybody can be at risk. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, how old you are, what race you are...everybody is at risk of potential danger when they are out and about in the late-night hours.
You never know when there is a dangerous individual or group of individuals that are lurking around the corner. It's better to take every possible safety precaution to avoid getting seriously harmed.