How to stay safe on a night out

A young person is out at night wearing a coat and applying lipstick. They have a cocktail and are wearing a blue coat and jewellery. The image represents staying safe on a night out.

Whether you love clubbing, house parties with friends or cosy drinks in a local pub or bar, you deserve to have a fun night out and feel safe. Sadly there are some risks to going out, particularly for women and non-binary folks, so it’s important to be aware of these and minimise them as much as possible. These tips will give you more confidence to enjoy the night and get home safely. 

Top tips for how to stay safe on a night out

Our guide to all the different aspects of a night out, and how to minimise risk.

Planning your night out

  • Go out in a group and try to stay with your friends throughout the night.    
  • Keep your phone batteries charged. 
  • Leave valuable items at home or keep them somewhere out of view. 

If you feel unsafe…

  • Trust your gut – if a situation in a bar/club/party doesn’t feel safe then leave, or speak to bar/club staff for support. Ask for Angela at the bar if you feel you’re in danger.
  • If you’re on a date or with someone who is making you feel unsafe, you can speak to the bar staff for help. 
  • Stay away from fights and move away if one starts near you. 

Drink & drugs on a night out

  • Always keep an eye on your drinks, and if you’re at a party, mix your own. You can buy special lids to place over the top of your drinks to avoid drink spiking.  
  • You should space out your drinks/substance use and know your limits. Bring snacks and water with you. 
  • Take a look at our support on drink and drugs and info on how to stay safe. 
  • If you think someone you’re with has been spiked, the best thing to do is tell the people you’re with and seek medical help straight away.
  • Call an ambulance if you’re worried about their health or get to the nearest hospital and explain what has happened. The quicker you go to hospital, the more likely it is that the substance will be identified.  

Getting home safely from a night out

At the end of a long night when you’re tired and perhaps not completely sober, it’s easy to find yourself being less careful than usual. Remember that getting home safely at night is just as important as staying safe while you’re in the club, and that any drink or drugs you may have taken might have had an effect on the way you think about risk. Luckily, getting home safely comes down to three pretty easy steps:

  • Travel home with a friend or ideally a group of friends (you should share cabs with friends if you can). Have a plan for how you will get home if you get separated from your group.  
  • If you are getting in a cab, order it from an app or a registered taxi firm to increase your safety.  
  • If you’re walking home, try to stick to well-lit busy areas and always try to walk facing on-coming traffic.

If you think you are being followed

  • Trust your instincts and act as confidently as you can, cross the road turning as you do to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, cross again. Keep moving. Head for a busy area and ask for help – for example from a shopkeeper.  
  • If a vehicle pulls up suddenly alongside you, turn and walk in the other direction: you can turn much faster than a car.  
  • Avoid confrontation. Talk your way out of problems, stay calm, speak gently, slowly, and clearly. Breathe out slowly to help you relax.  
  • If you are trapped or in danger, yell, or scream – your voice is your best defence. Shout, ‘phone the police’ or other specific instructions which people can understand easily. You can also carry a personal alarm. 

Next Steps

By Holly Turner

Updated on 11-Dec-2023

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