by Gianna Gavriel, Senior Resident, Badock Hall, North Village
Do you sometimes feel afraid or unprotected during nights out? Do you sometimes get second thoughts whilst walking alone in the dark late at night around Bristol? Well, you are not alone in this, as the majority of Bristol students feel the same way. This is especially true nowadays where blind dates via apps are a thing and can occasionally result in uncomfortable situations. To avoid getting yourself involved in such unpleasant situations, there are a number of things you can do.
1. Never be alone; always go out in groups of three or more. Every time you venture out, make sure you return home with the same people you went out with on the first place. Additionally, keep an eye on your friends. In the unlikely situation that you will need to return home alone, share your Uber trip with a friend, and do the same for a friend who has to return home by themselves. Furthermore, use your social media to share your location to make your friends aware of where you are.
2. Always ensure your phone is charged, not in silent mode and the ‘Find my phone’ mode is activated. Know by heart yours and one other person’s number and ensure you have both cash and card, which you keep in separate places, in the event that one of the two gets stolen.
3. It is also important to drink in moderation and always check your drink so that you can have control of the situation. You never know what intentions people around you may have, thus it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you keep a lid on top of your drink.
4. There may be time where you want to go out on a blind date. Make sure your friends know! If the date does not go as planned, things are not working out or if the person is not who they appeared to be on their profile ‘Ask for Angela’. It is a scheme many bars around Bristol have adopted and when you ask for Angela, they will either help you to get an Uber, or they will direct you to the back door to safely leave the bar. Try a Google search to find those places before deciding on a place for your date.
There are also times you may find yourselves in an uncomfortable situation with mates you do not know very well; situations that you believe are inappropriate or racist. Well, do not let it go. Report it! There are numerous services to reach out to depending on the situation; UoB’s Report and Support tool, Bristol Women’s Voice, Victim Support, Hollaback!, Muslim Youth Helpline, Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services, Gendered Intelligence and Mind Without Borders.
Last but not least, be aware that as a University of Bristol student you are part of a community, and you are taken care off. Security Services are constantly patrolling although you may not realise it and are available to call 24/7 on 0117 928 7848 if you have any safety concerns. A handful of events are organised in North Village around Safety on Nights Out. You can check your emails for more updates and information on this. The next outreach event regarding student health and safety is being held on March 17th outside Hiatt Baker halls from 9PM to 12AM – pop along for information, refreshments, and a friendly chat!
See more: Bristol Rules Campaign