February is almost here, and it’s time when many people will be out celebrating Valentine’s Day. For those who are single, it can be a time to meet a new person or go out with someone you’ve recently gotten to know. Others may feel inspired to head to a Valentine’s social event or party. And why not!
Our Secure Lifestyle Team feels this is a good time for us to share safety tips that could be useful for when you go out on a date, so you don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Then again, if you really want to feel more secure, why not participate in one of our bespoke training courses. We’ll share with you the security knowledge of the professionals, physical skills and dynamic mindset training.
1) Homework: If you organise a date, whether through online platforms or an everyday encounter, see what research you can do beforehand. You don’t have to be an intelligence analyst to get some basic background information on the web. Even the person’s social media may convey something helpful.
2) Consider: Of course, there are people who are very skilled at using social media, with selective photos, to convey an impressive or very different image of who they really are. A social media profile can be very different from the real person.
3) Share: Before you go on the date, inform a trusted friend or family member, or better still, tell a few, that you are going on a date. You can share location, time and even who you are meeting. Adding to this, you can gently let the person you are meeting know, in a subtle fashion of course, that you’ve shared with a friend or family that you are having this date.
Showing people that you don’t know that well, that you are careful and sensible about your safety and your boundaries, may deter some inappropriate behaviour. You should also let the friend or family member know when the date is over, or if there was anything that concerned you.
4) Observe: When you meet the person, note their body language. How do they convey themselves. Eye contact and eye movement (or lack of it) can also convey a great deal.
Do they respect your physical space, or do they try to impose or dominate? Sometimes, you might not know what it is that makes you feel uncomfortable around a person. You just pick up on something strange.
See how alcohol affects them as the date progresses. Does it make them seem angrier, or possibly aggressive, or too eager for your liking.
Be mindful of the type of questions they ask and the way they ask certain questions. Yes, questions are how we get to know people but sometimes they can be used to exploit a vulnerability or to dominate. Be careful what information you give out to people you don’t know that well.
5) Listen: Note how the person tries to portray themselves. Does the narrative add up? How do they respond when you ask questions? It can take time to really get to know someone well.
6) Stay in control: Be mindful of your own alcohol consumption, especially with strangers, watch your drink very carefully; don’t expose your drink to the potential of spiking.
7) Intelligent exit: Never feel obliged to stay within the situation, especially if you feel you’re less safe after exiting a venue. Think of ways you can step away without creating provocation and ways you can get home without leaving yourself in danger. Don’t expose yourself to other forms of crime when moving about late at night.
8) Enjoy: Have a safe night but a fun one.
Act: Get in touch for a friendly chat with our team to find out how you can access our Secure Lifestyle training.
From all at UMBRA International, UMBRA Secure and the Secure Lifestyle Training Team we wish you a happy and safe Valentine’s day. Email or call us on our contacts below if you’d like any more information.