While it's easy to get caught up in the fun of a night out, it's important that you are able to keep yourself safe. At the Students' Union, your safety is our priority, so please read through our guide to a safe (and fun) night out!
Going on great nights out with friends can give you some of your best memories at university, but it’s always important to look out for yourself while you’re out. On this page, we’ll be discussing ways so that you can keep yourself safe while enjoying what the wonderful streets of Huddersfield have to offer you! Take a look at our ten top tips for staying safe on nights out nearby (or wherever your night takes you)!
A person’s drink can be spiked to make them more vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including theft, sexual assault, or as an attempted joke. Often people don’t report drink spiking because they don’t remember details of the night or they feel embarrassed. It can be a scary experience and it’s important to be able to recognise the signs your drink has been spiked or how to help someone you suspect has been a victim.
What does drink spiking look like? If a friend starts to exhibit symptoms of a date rape drug, seek medical help immediately. Signs to look for include: dizziness and /or nausea, memory loss, breathing or motion difficulties, and acting disproportionately intoxicated relative to the amount of alcohol consumed.
If your drink has been spiked it's unlikely that you will see, smell or taste any difference. Most date rape drugs take effect within 15-30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours. If you start to feel strange or drunker than you should be, then get help straight away.
If you’re on your own, call someone you trust or dial 999 if you need urgent help. When possible If you suspect drink spiking, ask to be taken to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. Tell the medical staff you think you’ve been spiked. Urine and blood tests carried out in the first 24-72 hours are most likely to detect traces of date rape drugs.
Step 1: Get to a safe place. The first step is to make sure the individual is safe. If the person is still in the situation where the drink was spiked, it is important to get that person away from the situation and the people there. This can be vital to making sure the person is not at further risk from the person who spiked the drink to begin with. This could prevent a rape or robbery. If it is later or the next day, make sure the person is in a place where potential problems related to the drug that was used will not have other dangerous consequences. For example, make sure the person does not try to drive a car or do something else that can pose a risk if there are lingering effects from the drug.
Step 2: Get trusted help. When the person is safe, it is important to seek out others who can provide active support, such as trusted friends, parents, or the management of the establishment in which the problem occurred. Nearby police officers, security, or even emergency management personnel can help. This has two purposes. First of all, it can provide additional safety and support for the individual. Secondly, these people may be able to help with the following steps while making sure that the individual can also be safely guarded and observed for any deterioration of a physical or mental condition
Step 3: Get to the Hospital. Whether the drink has just been consumed or is suspected to have been consumed the previous evening, it is important to get medical help right away. This is for several reasons: To manage potential injury or harm caused by the substance To determine by testing what substance was used To determine whether other evidence of assault or rape is present To encourage the person to report the event to police Call 999 or look out for a member of staff to help if you are still in a venue.
It’s important to know the definitions of rape and abuse. Always get encouraged, verbal consent from your partner. Consent at its most basic level means everyone involved wants to participate. Check out our full breakdown of the importance of communication in sexual interactions.
Consent cannot be given:
You should always seek consent as it’s not safe to assume you know what the other person wants. It’s important to stop your sexual advances if the other person does not give enthusiastic consent, or if they say "no". Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is sexual assault.
If you ever feel that you’re receiving unclear messages, make sure to talk to your partner and ensure that you know what they feel comfortable with before you continue - Engaging and listening to your partner is essential when having sex. Neither of you should feel obligated to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with and simply “I don’t want to” is a good enough reason to stop.
But - what’s the point in having an awareness if you’re not willing to call out the people you know who are participating in spreading misinformation about consent? It’s not an easy task, to carry the burden of being the downer on the conversation, but it’s a necessary one. We often feel caught between wanting to be liked and wanting to say what we think is right. Stand by your guns and let people know how you feel if they're pushing unsafe rhetorics.
It’s always important to end the night right, that’s why we’ve created the ‘Safe Taxi Policy’. The policy launched in 2018 and is an agreement between Huddersfield Students’ Union and local taxi companies, pledging to provide safe travel for all students.
As a Students’ Union, we recommend that you use the taxi companies that have signed our pledge when travelling at any time, ensuring you receive a safe and affordable journey.
Ever been out for food and not felt totally safe? Maybe you’re out on the town with your friends and something doesn’t feel right? Or perhaps your blind date isn’t quite working out? Angela is who you need.
If you ever don’t feel safe then you can approach a member of staff at the bar/club/restaurant and Ask For Angela. Staff will immediately know you need help and will get you out of the situation in a safe and comfortable manner of your choice.