FRIENDSHIP Peggy girlfriend birthday happy hourGoing out with the Girls is so much fun. Keep it that way – and safe – with great girlfriend advice.

But have you ever had that weird “feeling” as you were walking through a parking lot alone late at night? It’s not that something is really wrong, you are just really, really glad to lock the doors once you get back to your own car!

September is a special month around Girlfriendology – it’s International Women’s Friendship Month (aka: #FriendshipMonth) and we’re celebrating with 30 great guest blogs filled with fabulous girlfriend advice and wisdom. Today we have great girlfriend advice from guest blogger STEPH STASZKO who shares some great advice on ways to make sure your fun girlfriend evenings always have happy endings:

A girls’ night out can be so much fun and an excellent chance to socialize with some of your closest girlfriends. It can also, however, be a haven for thieves and sexual predators who prey on vulnerable women. The effects of alcohol can vary throughout the night; you’ve probably seen one of your friends going from wildly dancing and having the time of their lives on the dance floor to crying their eyes out for no reason at all. Often, excessive consumption can leave people with no ability to control their actions and no recollection of it in the morning—this is why girls are more likely to be taken advantage of during or after drinking.

Being well prepared and practicing good safety awareness on a night out can help to reduce the likelihood of you or your GNO (Girls’ Night Out) friends becoming a victim to one of the many opportunist criminals that roam the streets searching for women.

Before You Leave Your Home

Before leaving for a night out there are some things to consider which can improve the evening for you and your friends. Booking a cab for the outbound journey is an obvious task, but many ladies don’t book one for the return ride. Some taxis may look legitimate but the driver may be mimicking a taxi driver in order to lure women in. Booking a taxi for a set time before you leave the house is important—the time can always be altered later on by a phone call to the taxi service if you’re having a really good night and don’t want to leave. This prevents wandering the streets late at night and can even help to keep all your friends together in the same place.

On Your Night Out

Although you may not want to stay with everyone for the duration of the night, never wander around alone. If you’re in a large group of friends you should always look out for each other; never leave a club without knowing the whereabouts of one of your friends. If they return to the bar and realize you’re not there they can end up in a potentially dangerous situation.

Some men offer lifts to women who have lost their friends. This person needn’t be a stranger; even accepting a lift off an acquaintance could lead to sinister consequences. This is why ensuring you have enough money to pay for your own taxi is essential to prevent finding yourself in a vulnerable situation and relying on people you vaguely know.

Mixing alcohol and drugs on a night out can be a lethal combination. Drug possession on a night out can lead to being arrested and even tried in court, requiring the assistance of solicitors (lawyers). In worst case scenarios they can leave you hospitalized and fighting for your life.

Drink “spiking” is an incredibly dangerous and (sadly) popular method of increasing someone’s vulnerability. This is where someone puts a substance of either alcohol or drugs into your drink in order to magnify the effects of alcohol. The “spiker” can then take advantage of the victim in their vulnerable state. If you leave your drink unattended whilst on a night out you’re putting yourself at higher risk of being spiked. If you need to go to the toilet leave your drink with one of your girlfriends—never with a stranger you’ve just met!

On Your Way Home

If you do end up traveling home alone, make sure you have someone you can update on your journey who can check that you get home safely. You should inform them of the taxi number, company, driver ID, and brief description of the car. Alerting them when you are on your way home gives them an idea of what time to expect you home. That way, if anything happens the police can be informed sooner rather than later.

Steph-Staszko-girlfriend-safetyThe key points to remember when going on a girls’ night out are to avoid excessive drinking, look out for yourself and your friends, and don’t be too trusting of strangers. If someone seems too kind to be true, they probably are.

Written by  STEPHANIE STASZKO on behalf of Gray and Co Solicitors who offer legal advice on many areas of criminal law.

What girlfriend advice do you have for being safe when going out at night? Any safety advice for women? Please share!

And, by the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month (#Friendship Month) and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …