Now the evenings are darker and with winter fast approaching, we want to make sure you and your mates know how to stay safe this season. This article shares our top tips for staying safe when you’re on a night out. Make sure to also check out our articles on how to stay safe on campus and on your bike.
Plan your route home
Before you go out, plan your way home. Whether that’s checking the last bus times, making sure you’ve got Uber or Bolt downloaded on your phone or hopping on the tram. Tell your housemates or friends how you plan to get back and see where you can share journeys – and even the cost! Remember the SU’s Safe Taxi Scheme can help you get home safely if you run out of cash on a night out.
Stick with your mates
One of the best ways you can stay safe is by looking out for each other. Stick with you mates on a night out and use a group WhatsApp or Facebook chat to find each other if you get lost.
Keep an eye on your drinks
Unfortunately reports of drink spiking have increased across the UK over the last year so it’s important to stay aware and know what to do if you think you or your mates have been spiked. Firstly, many clubs and bars in Manchester will provide anti-spiking tools and test kits by approaching a staff member and asking for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase indicates to staff that you need help, and a trained member of staff will then support and assist you.
If you think you’ve been spiked, get a friend to help you report it to venue staff so that they can assist you. If that isn’t possible, ask a friend to help take you home or to hospital if you feel seriously unwell. If you are alone or feel that you are in immediate danger, call 999. Substances can leave the body after 12 hours so it’s important to contact the police if you think you have been spiked, so they can test your urine or blood. You can tell the University what has happened by making a report on Report + Support, all reports are taken extremely seriously and you will be supported throughout the process.
Think about drink and drugs
We understand that for some of our students, going out means taking drugs and drinking. Last year we ran our first harm reduction campaign and we encourage you to revisit this information to make sure you’re as safe as possible if you do decide to take drugs on your night out.
Report unacceptable behaviour
At Manchester we have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, discrimination, gender-based violence, hate or micro-aggressions. If you have witnessed any forms of this behaviour, or have a safeguarding concern, you can report it anonymously or get support from a trained advisor. Find out more about Report + Support and our latest campaign, It’s Never OK.
Reach out to the SU Advice Centre
The Advice Centre provides a confidential space where you can talk about anything that’s on your mind, and they can help you to access additional support through the University and relevant external support organisations. Find out more about the SU’s Advice Centre.
Access free student support
Visit our student support website for more on personal safety and how to support yourself during the winter months.