Welcome back to Girl Talk! It’s festive season and in this blog I’d like to share a few tips on how to stay safe during the festive season.

Unfortunately, South Africa is one of the countries to have the most highest statistics for gender based violence. According to worldpopulationreview.com South Africa is number 1 on the list of top most dangerous countries for solo female travellers, second being Brazil.

It is no joke that more females than men are being attacked and not respected by certain men in this country.

Here are some tips to bear in mind:

• Do not walk alone in dark or quiet places. Avoid taking “short cuts”. Always walk in a group.
• Inform relatives, friends or a partner of where you are going, who you are going with and when you expect to be back. This is just for safety precautions.
• Before entering a taxi or an Uber look if there are any suspicious characters and also keep a record of the registration number and colour of the vehicle. Try and memorise the route the driver takes.
• Have the numbers of your relatives or police on speed dial.
• Avoid sleeping in the vehicle. This is tempting when you’re taking a long trip on a bus, train or Uber, do not fall asleep, always be alert.
• Do not agree to sleep with anyone in exchange for a job or any favours. This might seem far-fetched but these things happen right under our noses, if a man ask such a request, please flee the scene, block and delete him, he is a potential rapist. I actually recently found out someone I know personally requested one of my friends to sleep with him in exchange for a lift, she immediately declined. This is really happening and if it happens to you, please run.
• Don’t accept alcohol from strangers. It could be spiked.
• Don’t accept a lift from people you don’t know. People can seem sweet and nice, but honestly don’t trust strangers that easily.
• If you get drunk at a party, call someone you know and trust to take you home, because people take advantage.
• Avoid being on your cell phone all the time when travelling as it can distract you, as earlier mentioned, be aware of your surroundings. I was once travelling with an Uber and I was deep in my phone, I missed the route, the driver was taking me on a different route I had to stop him, this was so scary! Don’t let it happen to you.
• If you are driving and are being followed, go to the nearest police station and report the matter.
• When someone goes missing; make sure that you report them to the nearest police station, don’t delay it. Also, have as much information as possible and a recent photo of them.

These are just some basic tips to follow. I am not going to tell you what to wear, how to dress, because honestly, being kidnapped or raped has nothing to do with what we wear, a rapist will target a girl in a tracksuit just as much as someone in a mini and crop top.

Stay safe out there, sis, enjoy yourself responsibly, have friends around you, let them know your whereabouts and especially let your parents know or a trusted adult if you are a minor.



Worrying about safety can often lead to anxiety, learn how to deal with anxiety here

Tell us: What other safety tips do you have for festive or in general?