Dating Safety Tips
Sexual assault is uncomfortable to discuss, but it must receive more attention. Unfortunately, sexual assault rates across the United States remain high with about 207,754 victims of rape and sexual assault each year. With 525,600 minutes in a year, that makes one victim about every 2 minutes. 32,000 pregnancies result from rape in the United States annually. Due to stigma, lack of support, or victims being shamed or disbelieved, it is estimated only half of all sexual assaults are reported. It takes everyone to make a difference. Keep reading for some dating tips to keep both yourself and your partner safe.
- If you use dating apps, use a different picture for your profile picture than you do on your social media channels. It is easy to do a reverse search on a picture and find someone’s Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Avoid giving out personal information on dating apps.
- Meet a new partner for the first time in a public place and stay in public.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Trust your intuition. If something feels “off,” it probably is. Enlist the help of friends, family, other people in the area, etc. to stay safe.
- Think ahead about getting home. Be prepared when you are away from home to be able to leave a situation if you need to. Coordinate plans with friends and arrange transportation.
- Avoid using alcohol and drugs. A person is not able to give full enthusiastic consent when they are under the influence and may make decisions they normally wouldn’t.
- Communicate boundaries and limits clearly. Say “no” when you mean “no.” Say “yes” only when you mean “yes.”
- Respect and accept your partner’s limits and boundaries.
- Just because someone has consented to an activity once, does not mean they are obligated to do it again.
- Partners do not “owe” one another sexual favors in return for dates, dinner, gifts, etc.
- Be cautious of people who display extreme hostility, anger, jealousy, possessiveness, physical force, or are manipulative and coercive.
- If you feel you are being pressured into unwanted sexual relations, don’t hesitate to express your unwillingness. Physically push, hit or scratch if you must to get out of the dangerous situation.
- Forcing someone to participate in any kind of sexual activity they have not consented to is sexual assault, or rape.
- Talk about sexual history and protection before deciding to have sex.
- Use protection during sex to protect both partners from STI’s and/ or unintended pregnancies.
- Get tested for STI’s regularly.