Dating can be a wonderful and exciting experience, or it can be an outright disaster!  Either way you experience it, make sure you have your wits about you and take precautions for keeping yourself safe.

1. Let your people know where you are going, and with whom, and when you expect to be home.  Provide the name and number of the person you will be meeting, and the exact location of your date.  If anything changes, keep your people updated.

2. Use your own transportation. Never ride in a vehicle with someone you are just meeting.  You need to keep you home address private, and if you need to make a quick get away, you can!

3. Meet in a well-lit public place. A coffee shop, a restaurant or event where there are people, lights and activity.  

4. Never leave your food or drink unattended.  Accept a drink only from a bartender or waitress, and keep it with you.

5. Stay sober and alert!  Every. Single. Time!

6. Protect your personal information – keep your wallet and phone with you, and do not offer any details about where you live or work.

7. Establish your personal boundaries in advance of the date.  Plan for when you will leave, and how you will get home, even if you are having a good time. Decide on what type of conversation and interaction you will welcome, and what you wont.  Be solid in your decision.

8. Google them. Find out what kind of activity they engage in online, if you have any reservations, cancel the date. 

9. Follow your gut.  If you feel reticent or uncomfortable, leave the situation. DO NOT worry about hurting someone’s feelings…it is better to offend them than be harmed. 

10. Take a Self Defense class.  Learn the skills for awareness, avoidance and escape.