Safety Tips Everyone Should Follow On A Night Out

*TW: contains themes of drink spiking and assault

We all should be able to enjoy a night out with friends without having to worry about our personal safety. But for many, there is a growing undercurrent of anxiety on a night out. We know Guernsey is a very safe place to live, especially relative to other places in the world, however the reality is that there have been numerous incidents of sexual assault and reported drink spiking allegations around the Bailiwick in recent times.

Many of us think ‘it'll never happen to me’. But we all have a responsibility to take steps to ensure we are safe and protected on a night out. It's the sensible thing to do. However, a lack of responsibility is not to be mistaken for blame. Should anything happen, the person to blame is always the perpetrator and never the victim, no matter what they chose to wear, what they chose to drink or where they chose to go. Everyone has a right to be safe when out and about in the community. Taking responsible steps for our own personal safety is an extra layer of protection.

We reached out to SafetyNet, who are challenging the culture that enables these incidents to take place. They shared some advice on how to stay safe and enjoy an evening that is free from harassment, assault and drink spiking.



1.  Cover Your Drink.

Covering your drink is one of the best ways to help reduce your risk of being spiked - and it's also a great way to prevent spillages. SafetyNet has teamed up with local venues to help make StopTopp drink covers available.  You can find a list of venues with StopTopps available here.

SafetyNet will also be giving out free DrinkSeals – eco-friendly, reusable drink covers, to the public at the Christmas market in Town on Thursday 21 December and Saturday 23 December. You can find out more about other available drink covers here.


2.  Never Leave Your Drink Unattended.

It’s a sad reality that, if your drink is not covered, you simply cannot leave it unattended. And you should not accept a drink unless you were at the bar and saw it being poured. A perpetrator who wants to spike your drink will take any opportunity to do so while your head is turned. If you haven’t been watching your drink, don’t take a risk, just order a new one.

If you think you have been spiked, advice from Guernsey Police is to first seek medical help, and then when you’re well enough, make a report.


3.  Use Safewords Where Available.

Following the Girls Night In Gsy boycott in November 2021, several bars, clubs and venues locally implemented a safe word system. The safe words are displayed on posters in the venue (usually bathrooms) and can be used to alert staff that you need help, for any reason, and they
will assist you discreetly.


4.  Tell Someone Your Plans.

If you’re going out, make sure someone knows your plans. By telling someone where you will be and when you are going home, they can help to check you have made it home safely. You can also share your location using WhatsApp – or other apps – so that your friends and
family can make sure you’ve made it home.


5.  Follow the 'No One Left Behind' Rule.

Whether you’re out with family, friends or on a works do, make sure you all know how the others are getting home and that no one is left behind. We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe and help to look out for one another.



6. Download The Hollie Guard App.

The Hollie Guard app is free to download and it helps to turn your phone into a personal safety device. It was created in memory of Hollie Gazzard, who was attacked and tragically killed by her jealous ex-partner at her place of work, having left him just days earlier. It has enhanced safety features, including:

  • A journey tracker which allows you to set a start and end point and notifies your emergency contacts if you don’t reach your destination.
  • An alarm which can be activated by shaking your phone or holding the ‘alert’ button. Once activated, the alert will notify your emergency contacts or response team, send you precise GPS location, and activate your phone’s camera and microphone to record evidence.
  • A reporting feature where you can report incidents of sexual harassment, bullying, hate crimes, spiking, harassment, stalking, assault, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour on the app.


7.  If You See Something, Say Something.

Reporting an incident of harassment, assault or spiking is so important to get the help you need and protect others. Guernsey Police launched the #showsomerespect campaign to give a clear message that they will listen to you and help you.

Find out what happens when you make a police report here.

If you don’t want to make a report to the police, you can still get help from free and confidential services including Victim Support and Witness Support or Willow House (the Sexual Assault Referral Centre). You can find out where to get help here.


8.  Remember, You Are Not To Blame.

Let us be absolutely clear, if you have been harassed, assaulted, spiked or made to feel uncomfortable on a night out, it is not your fault. Being a victim can make you feel ashamed and you may wonder what you did wrong, but it is never your fault. Perpetrators of these incidents are completely to blame and you do not deserve to feel ashamed or guilty. It can be incredibly difficult, but if you have been a victim then tell someone. Whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague, doctor or the police, telling someone what has happened is the first step in getting support.


Follow SafetyNet Guernsey to find out more about safer nights out, keep up to date with local news about harassment, assault and spiking and join a supportive community. 

You may also want to take a look at Signs You Might Be In A Controlling Relationship

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