There is nothing quite as good as going out for the night, is there?
The chance to let off steam dancing the night away, as a top DJ plays some bangers through a powerful sound system, is something we look forward to doing throughout the working week.
However, while clubbing is all about enjoying yourself and having fun, it is important to be mindful that sometimes, safety is paramount.
Unfortunately, injury, serious assault and sadly, even death can occur during a night out because of situations that quickly escalate out of your control.
While we are not trying to be party poppers, one study has suggested that people who regularly visit nightclubs are three times more likely to experience violent crime than those who do not.
Much of this crime is preventable and can be avoided just by making sensible decisions. Everyone should have the right to go out to a nightclub and have fun without being attacked or assaulted. But unfortunately, such is the way of society right now, it pays to take precautionary measures.
With that in mind, here are 11 ways to stay safe during a night out.
The measures outlined below cover all aspects of safety when enjoying a night out.
Although these may seem like very cautious measures, taking these recommendations on board will go a long way towards reducing the risk of anything unsavoury happening to you.
Safety in numbers
It is good to remember there is always safety in numbers. So where possible try and go out in a large group where your friends can look out for you.
Whilst out, it is only natural that this larger group will splinter, as some of your friends hit the dance floor while others sit by tables or head off to the bar.
Where possible, try and stay, at the very least, in pairs throughout the night. Also, before going home, arrange to meet at a convenient spot – outside the toilets or by a specific exit - and leave in as big a group as you can.
Watch how much you drink
Whilst going out and getting blind drunk might seem like a fun or cool thing to do, in reality, it is never a good idea to completely take leave of your senses.
When you get blind drunk, your judgement and reactions often get impaired, which could sometimes result in you being in a situation, or making a decision you may quickly regret.
Again, everyone should have the right to drink as much as they want without the risk of anything terrible happening to them. However, there are people with iniquitous tendencies, which often come out when they have had a few drinks themselves.
So, it pays to take a sensible approach by reducing your alcohol intake to remain in control of your senses.
Keep an eye on your drink
Unfortunately, some people are untrustworthy. So you should always make a point of keeping an eye on your drinks.
Even if only popping to the bathroom, or having a brief chat with someone you have not seen in a while, try to ensure a friend is looking after your beverage for you while you are away.
Sadly, unattended drinks present prime opportunities for people to slip drugs like Rohypnol into them. As these sedative drugs are odourless and colourless, you will not even know your drink has been spiked until they have started to take effect.
If you can, always hold your drink in your hand. Should you or a friend start to feel dizzy, nauseous or display signs of losing consciousness, try to alert a female bartender and/or phone an ambulance straight away.
Do not buy or accept drugs at a club
You should not do drugs at the best of times. But drug purchases at a nightclub are notoriously bad and are to be avoided at all costs.
Quite simply, you can't be sure what the 'quality' of the product is like and you are just taking a drug dealer's word for it.
To keep a level head, the best thing to do is refuse any offer of drugs. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting a substance in your body that could be potentially fatal.
Drink water too
By all means, enjoy a drink when you are out clubbing. However, also consider drinking plenty of water as well.
Nightclubs are hot and humid places that can quickly dehydrate you if you fail to take enough water on board.
This is particularly true if you have been taking drugs like ecstasy that rapidly reduce your hydration levels.
When visiting a nightclub, it is always good to pack light. You don't need all your bank cards with you or every single set of keys you own. You also don't have to bring hundreds of banknotes out with you either.
All you need is your mobile phone, debit card, cash, house keys and maybe your ID. Anything more than that can attract unwanted attention and make you susceptible to robbery or mugging.
Pre-arrange your transportation home
It is always good to pre-arrange your transportation home. If you can, arrange for a friend, family member or partner to pick you up. Should they be unable to, it is worth pre-booking a taxi.
When booking a taxi, go for a company with a stellar reputation, who where possible, offer female drivers. Avoid getting into a cab, especially on your own, if you are blind drunk.
If you can remember to do so, take a photo of the driver's ID, which should be displayed in the vehicle and let them know you have done that. This should act as a deterrent to a potentially unscrupulous driver and prevent them taking advantage of the situation.
Heed to your gut instinct
Usually, your gut instinct is correct.
So if something or someone puts you in a position where you feel uncomfortable or unnerved, remove yourself from it as quickly as possible.
The best way to do this in a nightclub is to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. Alternatively, try to attract the attention of passing staff, nearby friends or other females who can provide you with safety in numbers.
Don't go home with a stranger
Sometimes you might meet someone in a nightclub you strike up a conversation with. Maybe they have charmed you with their good looks, dance moves and sense of humour. Then the invitation comes to go somewhere where you can be alone with them.
If this person was a stranger to you before the night, or you don't really know them that well, this is never a good idea. Particularly if they suggest you go to a secondary location where none of your friends knows you will be.
Unfortunately, agreeing to do this can leave you susceptible to an unwanted and non-consented sexual experience, the legal implications of which you can learn more here about.
Sadly, people wear many different faces when they are out at a nightclub, and you might only be seeing one of them whilst in the club.
Stay in well-lit areas
Should you have to walk home after your night out and you do not have anyone to walk with, try and stay in areas that are well-lit and have CCTV as much as you can.
If possible, take a route where there will be plenty of people milling about, even if this involves going the long way round.
As tempting as this might be, it is never a good idea to take shortcuts at night in dark, quiet areas like unlit parks or secluded alleyways.
For those times when you find yourself having to make your way home alone, it might be a better idea to have a couple less drinks at the club, so you can afford to take a taxi home.
Keep valuables hidden
We all like to wear nice things and display a bit of bling, but there is a time and place for doing so.
When you are in the club you can show off your flashy side. But when walking home, it is better to hide those jewels and your mobile phone.
The more they are on display, the more you may become a target for muggers.
When you leave the club, be sure to keep these items safely hidden on your personage.
Keep away from hostile situations
Sometimes people get aggressive when they drink and look to cause trouble, which can manifest in hostile situations.
If someone approaches you in a confrontational manner, the best thing to do is ignore them and walk away. If they are persistent, seek help from the bouncers if required.
Responding in kind is never a good option, so it is better to walk away with your dignity as opposed to bleeding, bruises, or evening a criminal record for assault.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with advice on how to stay safe while clubbing. So please do not be put off going to nightclubs because of what we have written.
At the end of the day, clubbing is a fantastic experience that brings joyful memories to many. If you were to exercise the tips we've outlined above, we are confident this will always remain the case for you.