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Leaving result students urged to stay safe
[Posted: Wed 17/08/2011 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) is appealing to young people getting their Leaving Cert results today to ‘stay safe while celebrating'.
According to the centre, getting your results is an ‘important rite of passage for young men and women'.
"However, like all rites of passage it is a transitional time and as such, young people still need support in making the life changes that leaving school and the Leaving Cert results bring," insisted Angela McCarthy, head of the centre's clinical services.
She noted that aside from the celebrations tonight, many young people now opt to go away on a holiday together to mark the end of their school life.
"This may be the first time that the class of 2011 will be away for an extended period without the support and supervision of an adult. While this can be very freeing, it can also be scary," Ms McCarthy said.
The DRCC has developed some tips for staying safe, which have been devised in consultation with young people.
The tips are divided into two sections - prevention and what to do in the event of a sexual assault or rape.
-Make sure your group looks out for each other
-Do not get separated from your group
-Keep your drink in your hand at all times
-Do not accept a drink from someone you do not know or have just met
-If you have to leave, e.g. to use the toilet, ask a friend to mind your drink
-Do not go to remote places
-Nominate a designated minder for each group of six
-Share taxies and lifts with people you know
-If you have to travel alone, make sure to phone ahead to where you are going and give your estimated time of arrival
-Make sure your mobile phone is charged at all times.
What to do if something happens:
-Call the national 24 hour helpline for rape and sexual abuse - 1800 77 88 88
-If you wish to report the crime, report it to the Gardai
-Seek medical help
-If you are abroad, get in touch with your travel agent
-If you are abroad, have the number of the Irish embassy or consulate keyed into your phone.
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