WillyWorries.com Cartoon Willy Adviser has some guidance for teens dating, and the risks of stranger danger
It’s wise to carry photographic ID (identification) as proof of your age and to prevent any embarrassing moments when trying to gain entry to clubs – especially if you look younger than your age.
No-one has the right to touch you without permission. However much you may dislike it, you’ll be judged by the clothes you wear.
It can be dangerous to try to be more grown up than your years, to tease or act provocatively, just to experience adult life!
Your self-confidence will grow with age and experience but it’s wise to wear clothes in which you feel comfortable, especially in relation to the comments or actions you’ll provoke.
You may want to dress provocatively – eg. skin tight clothes, plunging necklines – to attract others, but beware of the non-verbal signals you give to others.
· Do wear underwear, even if you do want to conceal your panty lines, otherwise you will invite trouble.
· Don’t make the mistake of thinking an attack couldn’t happen to me. It could and it can.
· Be perfectly clear about the behaviour you will or won’t allow.
Carry an attack alarm in your handbag and don’t be afraid to use it, if you feel frightened or need help.
Theft & Pickpockets
Don’t flash your cash!
· Pickpockets abound. Nightclubs are no safer than crowded trains when it comes to theft.
Be particularly careful when carrying cash and credit cards. You may be watched when, after use, you return them to your bag or pocket.
· Don’t carry more money or credit cards than you need to use at any one time.
· Don’t carry a chequebook. Just carry one or two cheques. Keep them away from your cheque-card.
· Always try to keep enough money for a cab fare home and if necessary keep this in a separate place. Even if you go out with friends, you may find you want to leave before or after them and to have the cab fare handy may save your life.
It’s always much safer to go to and leave a club or party in a group.
It’s safer to take a licensed cab than risk walking alone at night. NEVER accept a lift from a stranger.
· Only use a recognised mini-cab/cab company.
· If you can’t afford to get home, you can’t afford to go out!
Mobile Phones & Handbags
Beware of someone who gives you a mobile phone number – but no land line number. Maybe they live with someone or it may simply be a precaution since they don’t know you. If in doubt, wonder why, then ask!
Take care of your mobile phone.
· Don’t leave it lying around while you go to dance.
· Don’t leave it in your coat pocket in a cloakroom.
Avoid handbags if possible. Use a bum bag/belt bag or something else you can wear while dancing.
For security reasons, remove combs, nail files, sprays etc. from your handbag before entering a club – or leave them at home – since they are considered potential weapons. If you don’t, the door supervisor may confiscate them until you leave the club.
· Don’t put your handbag on the floor or by your feet when standing in a crowd having a drink; or while dancing.
· Don’t put your handbag by your side when seated unless it’s zipped up or closed properly.
Keep the closed end of the zip or flap nearest your front and keep the bag closely attached to you in some way, at all times.
Even when it’s over your shoulder, in your hand or on the floor by your feet, a clever pickpocket can take contents from it without you even feeling their presence !
Men Hunt in Packs
Go to a club or a party in a crowd and leave with that crowd.
· NEVER go off alone with a stranger – or someone you’ve been chatting to all evening. He/she is still a stranger.
If you notice a group of young men watching you with your friends before you go to dance, be particularly careful not to leave your drink where it could be ‘spiked’ (have a drug slipped into it without you knowing).
When you flirt or tease, make sure you don’t lead a man on – unless you’re prepared for the consequences.
Avoid being over friendly, since you may give off the wrong signals. It could lead to trouble you may not be able to handle.
Lone Men Danger
Beware of the attention of lone men and don’t become isolated from your friends.
· Bring anyone or anything you feel uncomfortable about to the attention of the club’s security staff. They should be able to help.
Today, casual sex is more dangerous. Medical advances and expensive treatments don’t necessarily provide a cure for all infections passed on through casual sex.
· If you buy condoms from a vending machine in a club, make sure they’re still in date and that they’re not gimmick condoms.
· Check for the British Standard kitemark, the CE or EN600, or the FDA mark on the packet or understand the standard to which they are made.
It’s impossible to know someone’s sexual history or whether they have a sexually transmitted infection in just one evening.
Think of tomorrow, not just the moment! Look after yourself and if they care about you at all, they’ll wait – if they won’t wait, then you’ve lost nothing!
· Don’t put yourself at risk for the sake of a thrill or someone else’s ego.
If you decide to have casual sex:
· Make sure you use a condom and other protection correctly, especially if you’re just giving or receiving oral sex (blow job).
Look after each other better
· If you see your female friends OR your male friends drunk or otherwise under the weather whilst out clubbing, look out for their safety – not just your own. In this state they are vulnerable and a potential victim of crime.
By keeping a watchful eye on them, you could prevent them from harm.
Accepting a Lift
Don’t accept a lift if you feel uncomfortable, particularly if the driver has been drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.
· When you get into someone’s car, you’re entering their territory. You can’t get out when you want – the driver will be in control.
· You won’t know how well they can drive but your life may well depend on it.
Mini-Cabs & Taxis
If you’re uncomfortable about someone who’s offering you a lift home, get a cab home.
· Phone for a licensed, on duty and properly insured, identifiable cabdriver, from a legitimate company.
· Always ask for – and write down – the name of the driver and their cab driver’s ID number.
· Ask for a pre-arranged code word to identify them further, when they arrive.
· Wait in a well lit place with someone else – if possible.
· Don’t approach him/her first. When the driver approaches, ask him/her to give his/her name. Don’t simply ask: are you eg. John Smith. A genuine cabbie won’t mind at all.
· Ask to see their photographic ID.
Touts often offer to get young women cabs. These are often unlicensed and sometimes operated by criminal gangs for the purpose of gaining money, sex – or both – from female groups or single passengers.
· Many criminals evade police checks and work as pirate cabbies – often without insurance.
Even if it’s late and you have to wait for a cab, NEVER take a pirate (unlicensed) cab.
· Don’t accept identification in the form of a business card. Anyone can have business cards. They don’t prove a thing !
Some pirate cabbies clock off from a shift with a legitimate firm and work for themselves for a few hours, to avoid paying commission to their employer.
· A pirate cabbie won’t be in regular radio contact with his base, even if they’ve got a radio in their car, with an extra aerial. This is to trick you into thinking they’re genuine.
· Don’t assume that because a door supervisor (bouncer) hails you a cab, you’ll be safe – and don’t take his/her word for it that you’ll be OK. He doesn’t know that for sure.
Author of Sexplained Books - Nurse Specialist in Contraception and Sexual Health, UK : Content managed by Midnight Learning Ltd
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