Soldier Support Institute SHARP
Protect Yourself Against Sexual Assault
Safe Dating Tips
The resources below are provided to offer guidance in how to be proactive in avoiding sexual assault.
Make your personal safety priority when preparing for a first date. Choose a public location and consider your transportation to and from your date, telling a close friend or family member your plans, and even communicate your personal sexual limits and/or viewpoint prior to the date itself.
Always opt for a well-lit public location to meet, preferably during daylight hours. There is safety in numbers, and meeting where there are many people around is a good idea in case trouble arises. This applies not only to first dates, but is a precaution that should be followed until you feel comfortable being alone with your date.
Always have your own form of transportation, whether it be a car, bus, bike, or on foot. This way, if you are not comfortable with your date's company, you will not be depending on them for a ride. Upon leaving in your own car from a date, be aware of your surrounding to ensure you are not being followed.
Planning is a key element of a safe date! Before you leave for a date, let a trusted friend know the following information: Where are you going to be.
  • How you are going to there and back.
  • Your date's name, phone number, address, etc.
  • The estimated time you will return.
  • Have your friend call or text you during the date to make sure you are okay.
Communicating your intentions, especially your sexual ones, start PRIOR to the date and continues during the dates as needed. Clearly state your wishes and sexual limits verbally so that assumptions are not made. The more you communicate BEFORE the date, the less chances you will have to be on the defense DURING the date.
It is important that your nonverbal communication matches what you say. If you say no, but physically flirt, misunderstanding can occur. This is NOT to say that you are "asking" to be taken advantage of, but rather reinforce that keeping your nonverbal communication in line with your verbal commutation lessens the chances for misinterpret and possible assault.
Internet dating is often considered safer due to the fact you are generally "dating at a distance" before meeting in person. The risk of potential trouble still exist though. The other person's identity can easily be misinterpret over the internet, so the same dating precaution should be taken. Online dating services' privacy policies vary greatly, so scrutinize the site for privacy and safety measure before signing up.