It has become an increasing practice for individuals to meet online, or through online dating services. H!LooK also facilitates people meeting face to face. This is how people used to meet before online dating even started. But, there are certain steps that every person should follow while dating — both online and offline/face to face. We ask you to take a few minutes to read these recommended tips and require that you use your common sense and judgement, and to please follow them. You may also add more precautions measures which are not mentioned below as you see appropriate. This is especially the case if you are meeting a person face to face.
Taking the steps to protect yourself while participating in the H!LooK community will help create a more positive experience for you and contribute to a better online and offline environment for everyone
DO NOT put your personal safety or security at risk. Use your common sense. If something seems sketchy, it probably is. Please review carefully the following dating safety tips for your consideration:
DO exercise caution when getting to know people online and off-line / face to face.
DON’T share your full name, personal phone numbers, email, address, or any other identifying information while messaging others within H!LooK until you are comfortable doing so. Even if someone else provides his or her personal contact information, you are not obligated to use it or offer yours.
DON’T post personal contact information in your profile – by doing so you risk having this information fall into the wrong hands.
Be truthful in your description of yourself in your profile or tips you provide about you. Misleading descriptions and dishonesty will not result in a great friendship. Be respectful of other members and treat them as you would like to be treated.
DO trust your instincts. Immediately quit corresponding online or end the face to face meeting if you feel unsure or threatened.
DO flag inappropriate use. We strongly encourage you to report any member who behaves in an inappropriate manner. We will take these reports seriously and use suitable measures to keep H!LooK a safe and enjoyable way to make new friends. You can flag inappropriate content from the messaging chat window or by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Examples of inappropriate behavior include:
• Minors using the service
• Members sending harassing or offensive messages
• Profiles with offensive content
• Members behaving inappropriately after meeting in person
• Other “shady” characters using the service
• Fraudulent registration or profiles
• Spam or solicitation
• Copyright infringement
• Members asking you for money or donations
DO get as many details as possible about the other person before meeting off-line. We encourage you to do your own research, ask questions, and use common sense. We do not perform background checks on our members.
DO have your first face-to-face meeting in public at a decent hour. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or that your personal safety is at risk, make up an excuse to leave. Don’t meet in a private home or in a remote location until you feel comfortable and secure doing so.
DO tell at least one friend where you are going and when you expect to return for your first meeting and subsequent meetings until your gut tells you that you are safe. Contact that person before and after or ask him/her to contact you at a predetermined time. If you are followed to where you parked your car, stop and hail a taxi or go into another public place to use the telephone. Come back later with someone else to get your car.
If you plan to have your profile visible to allow people around you send you H!LooK requests and meet face to face on the spot, make sure you are in a public place of your own comfort at a reasonable hour.
Make sure you are in a safe public surrounding. Do not accept a request to meet face to face on the spot unless you feel comfortable and safe. Keep your first meeting simple and casual. We DO NOT advise you to take your first meeting to another venue even if you were offered to do so. Always be safe and use your common sense and sound judgement. If you feel you need to end a meeting for whatever reason, make a polite excuse and leave. Always have your phone fully charged with you if you plan to use H!LooK for immediate face to face meetings.
DO limit your alcohol intake when meeting someone for the first time. Drinking excessively could impair your ability to make good decisions and may put you at risk. Alcohol is involved in the majority of all sexual assaults reported according to reports.
DON’T leave home without your mobile phone fully charged.
DON’T ask the other person to pick you up at your home or office until you are comfortable with your new friend knowing where you live or work. Same goes for inviting someone over to your place.
DON’T leave personal belongings (purses, wallets) or drinks unattended. This puts your personal information at risk of being stolen and your drink at risk of being tampered with. If your drink is out of your sight, even for a few seconds, get a new one. Spiking a drink with a date rape drug can happen quickly.
Make sure you always have a ride home or a plan to walk home with a friend or roommate.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, leave and get to a safe place immediately.
At all times when meeting someone face to face, whether on the spot, or planned, know your limits—and let your date know them right from the start.
Be clear about what’s okay for you. Don’t expect your date to read your mind.
Don’t get in over your head. If someone pushes you to do something you don’t want to do, you have the right to leave.
Always tell a friend that you will be meeting someone for the first time at that place, or that you plan to meet random people on the spot at that place.
Don’t put yourself at harm and minimize the risk of assault, whether verbal, physical or sexual or any form of inappropriate behaviour which might put you in harm:
1. Be aware of controlling behavior in your date or meeting. Assaults of different forms are crimes of power and control. Be very alarmed if you feel “uncomfortable” about some of the person’s behavior including but not limited to:
- Intimidating stares.
- Degrading jokes or language.
- Refusal to respond to stated physical limits.
- Refusal to accept “no” as an answer, whether in a sexual context or otherwise.
Insistence on making all of the “important” decisions about the meeting or date.
- An unwillingness to interact with you as a person rather than a sexual object.
- Extreme jealousy, possessiveness.
- Strong belief in sex role stereotypes.
- A sense of violent behaviour.
2. Define yourself and your sexual limits. Your sexual limits are yours alone to define. The first step in preventing abuse is to define your limits clearly to yourself and then to act quickly when a date or partner intentionally or unintentionally crosses your stated boundaries.
3. Set clear limits and be firm. No one has the right to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. Many people have difficulty confronting coercive behavior because they have been socialized to be “polite”. If you do not want to be touched, you can say, “Don’t touch me,” or “Stop it, I’m not enjoying this.” Tell your date, “If you do not respect my wishes right now, I’m leaving” and then do it if your partner won’t listen.
4. Do not give mixed messages. Say “yes” when you mean “yes” and “no” when you mean “no.” Be sure that your words do not conflict with other signals such as eye contact, voice tone, posture or gestures.
5. Be independent and aware on your dates. Do not be totally passive. Have opinions about where to go. Think about appropriate PUBLIC places to meet. Avoid secluded places where you could be vulnerable.
6. Trust your gut feelings. If you feel you are in a dangerous situation, or that you are being pressured, you’re probably right, and you need to respond. Many rape survivors report having had a “bad feeling” about the situation that led to their victimization. If a situation feels bad or you start to get nervous about your date’s behaviour, confront the person immediately or leave as soon as possible.
7. If you feel pressured, coerced or fearful: protest loudly, leave and, go for help, call the police call a friend as well. Make a scene! Your best defence is to attract attention to the situation if you feel you are in trouble. In an attempt to be nice or avoid embarrassment, you may be reluctant to yell or run away to escape being attacked. If you are worried about hurting the aggressors’ feelings, remember, the aggressor is attempting to hurt you physically and psychologically.
8. These safety tips were originally written in English (US). We may translate these Tips into other languages.
9. In the event of a conflict between a translated version of these tips and the English version, the English version will control