For Immediate Release
December 30, 2019
Contact: Lisa Robinson, 702.326.0334, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE RAPE CRISIS CENTER REMINDS NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY GOERS TO ARRIVE TOGETHER, STICK TOGETHER AND LEAVE TOGETHER
The Party Smart Campaign provides safety tips for Las Vegas revelers and training for club staff
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — As Las Vegas readies itself to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors as one of the world’s premier New Year’s Eve destinations, Signs of Hope (SOH) encourages everyone to make the “Party Smart Promise,” a simple pledge to arrive together, stick together and leave together. Targeted to both locals and tourists, particularly the most vulnerable population, young women ages 18-24, the Party Smart Campaign is part of dual-pronged SOH community initiative that includes safety tips and guidelines for party-goers; it also includes training for club and nightlife venue staff on how to spot, intervene and prevent predatory behavior.
According to Daniele Staple, executive director of Signs of Hope, there is much people can do to play a role in being an active bystander to help ensure the safety of their friends, as well as those they may not know. A few tips to stay safe amid the festive atmosphere:
Arrive Together – Before You Go Out
- Choose a friend or group of friends to go with.
- Make a plan for where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
- Use “share my ride” and other safety features so others can help keep track of where you are.
- Decide how everyone will get home. Have a backup plan in case of emergency.
- Choose a code word or signal to let each other know when something isn’t right.
- Let a trusted person know where you will be.
- Charge your phone and be mindful of battery so you can call in case of emergency..
- Download a safety app such as Circle of 6
Stick Together – While You’re There
- Keep an eye on your group. Check in with each other throughout the night to make sure everyone is feeling good and having fun.
- If someone has had little to drink but starts to feel a strong effect quickly or their behavior and movement seems suddenly impaired, get help immediately, they may have been drugged.
- Be an Active Bystander – watch for predatory behavior, individuals who won’t take “no” for an answer and anyone who seems to be trying to get a member of the group off by themselves.
- If you see anything that seems odd, tell someone. Law enforcement, security and management at venues, all are invested in making our New Years’ experience positive. Engage help if you need to.
Leave Together – When the Party is Over
- Never leave a member of your group behind. Remember: No “buddy” left behind.
- Don’t let an intoxicated friend go home with a stranger. If you wouldn’t give your friend their keys to drive home, don’t let them leave with a stranger drunk. Particularly if the other person seems very sober and makes certain to get your friend drunk – this is a sign of the person staying in control and purposely impairing a potential victim.
- Wait in taxi lines or use ride share services together. Don’t leave anyone in your group in a vulnerable position at the end of the night when predators may be on the prowl.
- Beware of people offering rides or promising to help get people home. Use licensed and labeled transportation options so there is accountability.
- If you see someone being followed who may not be aware of it, or overhear something that doesn’t sound right, offer help – just strike up a conversation, give them a heads up, or alert security to what you have seen and heard. You can make all the difference as an active bystander, even for people you don’t know.
- Check in to make sure everyone got home safe. If you can’t reach one of your group members, get help.
- If someone at the party/bar/club behaved in a way that made you or others feel uncomfortable or unsafe, talk about it. Support others who bring up these issues.
The Party Smart Campaign and website, partysmartinlv.com offers helpful information and resources to think about before heading out. The campaign is based on some key statistics:
- Women 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of sexual violence
- Approximately 20% of the victims SOH serves at UMC Hospital annually report being assaulted at or immediately after being in a party situation or alcohol-serving establishment
- Way more predators use alcohol and drugs than guns or knives to impair someone and make them more vulnerable to assault.
- Predators are usually casual acquaintances or even part of your group. Don’t assume because someone is a “friend of a friend” that they are safe.
Signs of Hope and The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) are actively conducting staff training around the entire valley through the Stay S.A.F.E. (Sexual Assault Free Environments) program. Thousands of Las Vegas workers have received the training, with several properties crediting the program with helping them intervene to stop assaults before they happened. The training is free and done as a joint venture between SOH and Metro. Those who are interested may contact Signs of Hope to schedule a session.
“We want everyone, visitors and locals alike, to have a fantastic time in Las Vegas,” said Staple. “Predators often follow the same patterns that are easily detectable. Trust your instincts, listen to friends, and involve security and servers if you need help.”
About Signs of Hope
Signs of Hope (SOH) is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 by Florence McClure and Sandra Petta as the Community Action Against Rape (CAAR) with the goal of helping those in Clark County heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Today, Signs of Hope operates a 24/7 crisis hotline and hospital response for sexual assault victims and provides counseling, advocacy and support to help victims begin the healing process and navigate the legal system. SOH is also committed to the prevention of sexual assault through educational programs and community outreach. Volunteers and staff of the organization are empathetic and enthusiastic people who give their time, energy, and personal sacrifice to serve Clark County’s victims of sexual violence. This service is provided through face-to-face and over-the-phone support of victims, survivors and family members. Signs of Hope hotline number is 702-366-1640. For more information, visit www.rcclv.org.