Attending a Party in a Bellingham Neighborhood
If you decide to attend a party in a Bellingham neighborhood, there are a few things you can do to make your night enjoyable while respecting neighbors. Most likely you’ll have a great time, but you should be prepared to address the “what-if’s.”
Here are a few prevention tips:
Prevent Getting a Police Citation:
If you are under 21, don’t drink
Always cooperate with a police officer at a party. Additional citations can occur when partiers hang around a party or give police a hard time.
If the police break up the party, cooperate. If they ask you to leave, then leave, but don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. Not only could you be cited for driving under the influence, but you could injure or kill yourself or someone else. Walk, catch a ride with a sober friend, or call a taxi or Sober Rovers.
Be aware of what IS and IS NOT the property you are visiting. Destroying or mistreating a neighbor's property is the quickest way to get a police citation.
Avoid parties at notorious “party houses”, as they are more likely to prompt a neighbor to complain, leading to a visit by the police.
See Party Patrol 101 for details on possible citations.
Prevent You or Someone Else from Getting Dangerously Intoxicated:
YOUR BEST BET is not to drink, but if you do, limit your alcohol consumption.
Make a decision before the party about how much you plan to drink, then count your drinks at the party.
Go with a friend who can keep watch with you and take you home if you've had too much.
Never accept a drink from someone you do not know, or drink something that has no clear indication of the alcohol content.
Make sure you and your friends know the signs of acute intoxication Alcohol and Drug Overdose 101
ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DRINKING and HOW MUCH you've consumed.
Avoid drinking games, funnels, and other activities that get you drunk fast.
Don't attend parties at the houses of people you don't know. The bigger the party, the more likely things will get out of control.
Prevent You or Someone Else from Getting Sexually or Physically Assaulted:
Limit your alcohol consumption.
GO WITH A FRIEND who can watch out for you and help you out of an awkward, dangerous, or compromising interaction. Have a CODE word or action to let your friend know you're in trouble.
Stay in the main area of the party and avoid going to private rooms or other places.
If someone gets angry, the best thing to do is to avoid violence, especially if they've been drinking. Don't try to win the fight. Keep your voice calm and conversational.
Be clear about what your social and sexual goals are for the evening.
90% of all sexual assaults are alcohol-related. Most physical assaults are also fueled by alcohol. It's easy to figure out why.
Educate yourself on the use of DATE RAPE drugs, including their appearance and effects. If you identify a drug, leave that situation immediately and contact the police.
It's okay to CALL THE POLICE on a party you're attending if things get out of hand.
If You Are Sexually Assaulted…
Remember that it is not your fault. Whatever happened, you did nothing to deserve it. Sexual assault can happen to anyone and it is never the victim’s fault. Get to a safe place. Do not bathe, douche or change your clothes. Call a friend for support and Western’s 24 hour helpline at 650-3700 CASAS: Crime and Sexual Assault Support Services
Crime and Sexual Assault Support Services
For police or medical emergencies call 3911 on campus or 911 off campus.
Tips for Leaving Gracefully
If you start to feel that the party is getting too big or out-of-control, or you feel uncomfortable for any reason, your best bet is to leave. Try these simple tactics:
- Trust your intuition about the situation – if it feels risky, it probably is!
- Make up an excuse to leave, like you have to meet a friend, or your boyfriend/girlfriend just called and needs you right away.
- Even if you feel un-cool for leaving, it is better than experiencing a party bust.
- Talk with your friends before the party and make a plan about what circumstances would make you want to stay or leave, and how to buddy up for safety.
- If you decide to leave alone, always tell someone you’re leaving and where you are going.
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