Halloween is coming up and many of you will be dressing up and heading out for a night on the town! Whether you are going to celebrate it Trick-or-Treating, at a house party with some friends, or heading to downtown Santa Cruz, here are some quick and easy steps so you and your friends can stay safe during your fun and spooky night.
Downtown Santa Cruz
- Bring emergency cash and a cell phone (with full battery). You never know what craziness lies ahead so it’s always better to be prepared! You might also want to look up the numbers of local cab companies and store those on your phone. It’s better to have a plan than to be stranded! Play it safe.
- Do not go alone! Downtown Santa Cruz can be quite hectic and there will be a ton of people there that you don’t know. Don’t agree to “meet up” with your friends and don’t say you’ll meet back up at the car afterwards, arrange a way for all of you to get there together, stay together, and leave together.
- Develop a buddy system. It’s easy to lose track of one person, especially if you’re going in a large group, but assigning “buddies” to each person will help you stay together. Don’t wander off!
- Steer clear of any potentially violent situations. It can happen anywhere, especially in big crowds. If something around you looks like it’s heating up, move away! Innocent bystanders are not safe. You never know what kind of weapons might be involved.
- Be careful on the road. Assign a designated driver. Make sure that person has not had a drink and is able to drive. Many others drink and drive so be especially aware on this night. Make it home safe.
- Again, go with, hang with, and leave with close trusted friends! We cannot reiterate this enough. Most assaults occur with someone you know so don’t think that because you know most of the people at the party you’re safe by yourself. Stay with trusted friends and leave with them.
- Carry emergency cash and a cell phone in case you get separated from your group.
- Watch your drink! Do not accept a drink from someone you hardly know. Be wary of mixed drinks like “jungle juice”; these drinks can have an excessive amount of alcohol that could creep up on you later on. We do not condone drinking, but if you’re going to, be smart!
- Don’t assume people you just met have good intentions. It’s nice and fun to meet new people and make new friends at a party, but don’t assume they have good intentions. Don’t isolate yourself with someone who you’ve just met.
- Always carry a flashlight, cell phone, and emergency cash.
- Make sure the treats you receive have not been tampered with.
- Do not enter an unknown home or vehicle.
- Use sidewalks (not the road or lawns), stay with the group, and take care of each other.
And last but not least, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t dismiss the warning signs. We know Halloween is fun and exciting, but these are simple and easy steps you can take that will make you and your friends safer. So remember to stay with trusted friends, carry emergency items (money, cell phone, etc), watch your drink, and have fun.