On October 24, Futures met to discuss what it means to feel emotionally and physically safe. We began by looking introspectively, writing down what preparations or precautions we each take at before going out for the night, on a weekend and in general. Then we split into small groups and discuss why we make these preparations, and how they change depending on the plan for the night: going to hang out with friends versus going to a bar, house party, or other social space. We discussed questions like: What makes you feel physically safe or unsafe? and What makes you feel emotionally unsafe? Some aspects of emotional safety that were discussed include: being comfortable in your environment and the people there, toxic people or relationships, and power dynamics within relationships. We also talked about what we do if we feel physically or emotionally unsafe, and how our coping mechanisms have evolved.
One of the most insightful points in the discussion was about knowing when you feel unsafe, but also being able to recognize when your friends are feel unsafe. Good friends are perceptive to how your friends act when they’re drunk, if they aren’t talking, if they seem uncomfortable, and having signals or code words to step in.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and October 7- 13 is Mental Health Awareness week. If you or a friend is looking for resources related to emotional and physical safety we have posted a fantastic list to our Facebook page. Check it out!