The gay scene
- Cruising grounds can be dangerous places: know your exits. Tell a friend where you are going
- If you know someone else there, make contact: you can look out for each other
- Listening to music using headphones make you less aware of danger or attack
- Try not to carry valuables
- If you’ve met someone for the first time you may be tempted to take them home or go home with them. Beware of the risks. Get their phone number and suggest meeting another night
- Sexy though they may appear to be – stay clear of groups of straight men, particularly if they’re loud or drunk
- Be wary of accepting lifts from strangers. If you are with a group of friends but do not know the driver, you should be cautious about being the last person to be dropped off. Hitch hiking can be dangerous. Try not to hitch alone although this may make getting lifts more difficult.
- Some guys have a 2nd phone (left at home) to which they send themselves messages with a quick description of the plan before running off with a complete stranger. Doing this in front of a potential shag also lets them know you are connected. Over the top (OTT) perhaps but it depends on how you value your personal safety (especially if you are not out).
The Havens | 020 3299 6900
The Havens can help you if you have been sexually assaulted or had non-consensual sex in the past 12 months. You can call them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an initial assessment. When they need to see you urgently, such as for a forensic medical examination (FME), they aim to see you within 90 minutes. They also offer follow-up care, including counselling, tests and treatments. Its medical and emotional support services are confidential. That means it will not tell anyone you have contacted or come to see them unless you want them to. And you can use any of their services without involving the police.
While MEN R US maintains that The Havens is an invaluable service, it has intel from users to indicate it could - and perhaps should - be more friendly and accessible towards gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men. However, should you be in need of The Havens this is not a reason not to go.
The Havens has 3 centres in London:
Camberwell Haven, near to King’s College Hospital (South)
Whitechapel Haven, near to Royal London Hospital (East)
Paddington Haven, near to St Mary’s Hospital (West)