If you’re anything like us here at loveisrespect, spring break is a time to kick back, relax and analyze the healthiness of different aspects of relationships.
Those of us with time off don’t really think about it, and we know that you probably don’t either. Spring break is a time to enjoy a week off in some of the year’s most beautiful weather.
A lot of people go into spring break with the intent to travel and have a carefree time, which leads to a lot of casual hook ups. And that’s perfectly okay and can be healthy if done the right way. Check out our hooking up healthy ideas. We just want to make sure you’re safe. It is known that sexual assault happens more frequently during spring break. We don’t want to deter you from making fun plans, but make sure when you do, you keep some of our safety tips in mind to protect yourself from sexual assault.
Don’t travel alone. Use the buddy system or have a group of three or more, just keep your friends close. Things are more fun when you’re with friends anyway, so by keeping friends with you at all times, you’re killing two birds with one stone – staying safe and maximizing fun.
Use your cell phone. Text your friends or have your phone available to receive texts or calls from your group. When you’re out on the town, keeping tabs on each other with your phones is an effective way to stay safe. If you have a smart phone there are apps that can allow you to see where your friends are on a map. Make sure you charge your phone right before you go out, or take your charger with you. We’ll be discussing some technology that can help you stay safe in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.
Practice safe sex. 75% of all college age students report never or rarely using a condom during spring break(McKinley Healthy Center). Whether it is through abstinence or contraception, use safe sex habits. Make sure that if you plan on hooking up, you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to safely hooking up. Make the choices you feel good about and keep your partner in the loop about what it is that would make you feel more comfortable.
Know your limits with alcohol. Alcohol has culturally become a big part of the spring break celebration. If you choose to drink, know that your decision-making abilities are weakened.
Did you know a study showed when alcohol is involved, victims of sexual abuse are less likely to name the experience “rape?” Alcohol doesn’t change what happened. Students report that decisions are negatively influenced by alcohol or drug use just prior to sexual activity.
Designating one person to not drink gives you a safety net to fall back on, but doesn’t guarantee you’ll be safe. Never accept drink a from a stranger, unless you see it poured, and make sure you watch each drink you consume being made. Don’t leave a drink unattended, either. It’s unsafe to trust people you have just met in this setting. Be cautious.
Have a plan. Before you go out, sit down and form a plan of action with your friends. Know where you’re going, what each of your intentions are for the night and what is going on at the end of the night. Make sure that you check in with each other if one leaves a different way than was planned. Also make sure you have a back up plan if you find yourself alone. Know the name and address of your hotel, as well as some major streets in the new town.
Always keep in mind that if you travel, you will be in a place with people that you don’t know. By being around or casually hooking up with someone, you may be sacrificing your safety net. Take the right steps to keep yourself safe. If you or a friend are victims of sexual abuse, contact RAINN by phone at 1-800-656-4673 or by chatting online.