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Specific Considerations for Parents of Daughters

For some young women, impaired decision-making that may occur at the end of a night of drinking and partying can quickly turn a fun evening into a danger zone. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while out partying increases women’s vulnerability to sexual assault and dating violence. It is important to share this information with adolescent girls and young women. Talk openly about personal safety considerations and ways they can reduce their risk of harm while still having a good time when they are out with friends. Travelling in groups of friends both to and from places (such as bars or parties), taking turns being the designated driver, watching out for each other (this also means sometimes having to be the sober voice of reason), informing friends of any change of plans, and checking in with someone the next day, are all examples of habits and methods of increasing personal safety.

True Stories

  • In 2005, an 18-year-old female went missing while celebrating her graduation with her friends. She was last seen leaving a bar and getting into a vehicle with three unknown males.

  • In 2009, a 21-year-old female went missing while at an outdoor concert with her girlfriends. Police discovered that she had left the concert venue without her friends and is believed to have been abducted by an unknown male.

  • In 2010, a 24-year-old female went missing from a rural area. She was last seen walking alone along a highway after leaving a party which she had attended with her girlfriends.

Discuss these case examples with your daughter. Remind them that their safety is your number one concern. Having open conversations will help them anticipate possible dangerous situations they could encounter. Encourage them to generate ideas of safe ways to respond to various scenarios. This will increase the likelihood that your daughter will know what to do if she should encounter a similar situation. Find natural opportunities to reinforce the core safety strategies and to discuss your daughter’s increased independence. Remember, risk can never be eliminated — but, it can be reduced. It is never a child’s, youth’s or young adult’s fault if they are victimized, regardless of the circumstances.

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