LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As hundreds of thousands of people coming to Las Vegas prepare to ring in the New Year, Signs of HOPE, formerly known as the Rape Crisis Center, encourages revelers to make the “Party Smart Promise.”

The promise is part of the Party Smart Campaign, based on key statistics:

  • Women 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of sexual violence.
  • Predators are often someone you know, or even part of your group.
  • Predators are more likely to use alcohol and drugs than guns or knives to impair someone and make them vulnerable to assault.

The promise is a pledge to arrive together, stick together, and leave together. Each part of the promise encourages taking measures to stay safe, knowing how to be an active bystander, and protecting yourself and others against potential predators.

When you and your group “arrive together” — before you go out — here are some tips:

  • Make a plan for where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
  • Use “share my ride” and other safety features so others can help keep track of where you are.
  • Decide how everyone will get home. Have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
  • Choose a code word or signal to let each other know when something isn’t right.
  • Let a trusted person not with you know where you will be.
  • Make sure your phone is charged and be mindful of battery so you can call for help in case of an emergency.

Once you’ve arrived, make sure you “stick together,” meaning:

  • Keep an eye on the people in your group, and consistently check in with each other.
  • If someone has had little to drink but starts to feel a strong effect quickly or begins showing sudden impairments in behavior or movement, get help immediately, as they may have been drugged.
  • Be an active bystander. This means watching for predatory behavior, individuals who won’t take “no” for an answer, or anyone who seems to be trying to get a person by themselves. If something doesn’t seem right, invite the vulnerable person to join your group, or make security aware of the situation.

When the party is over, make sure you “leave together.” This means making sure that you:

  • Never leave a member of your group behind.
  • Don’t let an intoxicated friend go home with a stranger, particularly if the other person seems very sober and is intentionally encouraging your friend to drink more or get very drunk. This is a sign of the person staying in control and purposely impairing a potential victim.
  • Wait in taxi lines or use ride share services together. Use licensed and labeled transportation options to have accountability, and always confirm the rideshare information you have. Ask the driver to confirm their name, do not offer yours.
  • Offer help, alert security, or strike up a conversation if you see someone being followed who may not be aware of it, or overheard something that doesn’t sound right.
  • Check in to make sure everyone got home safe. Get help if you can’t reach a person in your group.

If someone behaved in a way that made you or others feel uncomfortable or unsafe, talk about it and support others who do.

The Signs of HOPE 24-hour hotline can be reached at 702-366-1640. SMS text is available every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 725-900-2640.

The Party Smart Campaign also includes training for club and nightlife venue staff on how to spot, intervene, and prevent predatory behavior. Training is free, and those who are interested may contact Signs of Hope to schedule a session.

For more resources, visit the Signs of HOPE website.