I like making jokes, it is one of my favourite things to do and is up there alongside the magnificence that is stuffing my face with Pringles (prawn cocktail flavour of course), lying in bed with the sun on your face when you have nowhere to be and nothign that needs doing, and lastly finishing a really good book.
Something that is not a joke is safety. As women, we know the dangers we face in this world, and as girls, we learn them quickly and quietly. I saw a tweet somewhere that went along the lines of Men worry that a woman will laugh at them. Women worry that a man will kill them. The sad reality of our time is that we all have stories of times we felt unsafe, times we were followed in the street, times that we smiled when we wanted to cringe and the times that we have never told anyone.
I’d love for my blog to be all happy-clappy and isn’t love a wonderful thing, but real life teaches us otherwise, to pretend that we don’t need to be careful is harmful in itself.
I haven’t tried online dating yet but it is something I would love to, the thing that holds me back is the potential safety risks. Some of my first internet safety lessons (the kind given as the dial-up modems screeched in the background) was never meet strangers from the internet. Yet here we are where they are literally hundreds of apps and webistes who’s express purpose is to hook you up with strangers from the internet.
So, that being said, let’s go over some basic safety tips.
Tell someone where you are going. Make a plan to check in with a friend or family member afterwards, heck, have them check up on things in the middle of the date if it makes you comfortable.
Always meet in a public place. if your internet stranger is insisting on meeting in a secluded location or goes to great lengths to allow him to pick you up in his car just say no.
Carry a torch. There are all sorts of self-protection devices from pepper spray to air horns but one of the most underrated is a blinding torch that can fit on your keyring. Rated at 130 lumens or more these suckers will dazzle and disorientate an attacker, allowing you to get away.
Learn some self-defence. You don’t need to get a black belt, but knowing a few self-defence techniques, both physical and psychological is never a bad idea. Check out this video for an inspiring take on just this subject.
Stay safe out there.