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The Prospector

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Helpful tips for staying safe during Valentine’s week

SalmaPaola Baca
One way to stay safe this Valentine’s day is to carry items such as pepper spray.

Valentine’s Day week is upon us. A romantic time when some couples prefer going on dates to upscale restaurants or relaxing and unwinding at home while cuddling up to watch movies.  

During this week of love and hope, as you prepare to go out with your significant other or go on a first date, it is wise to think about how you can be safe and take those necessary precautions.  

Some people go on first dates or blind dates during the week of Valentine’s Day, whether they were matched online, through a friend, or many other ways.  

Even though this traditional holiday activity is quite popular, you never truly know who you are meeting up with and their true intentions for the date.   

As individuals prepare to go on dates this year, UTEP student Khaliah Hunter offered some guidance and suggestions.  

“For both male and females, I would just say maybe have some protection on them, maybe pepper spray or something like that,” Hunter said. “Some people like tasers but also just being careful who you are around and even your friends.”  

Even though going on a blind date or even a first date can be nerve-wracking for some, it is still important to be careful about what you share while also paying close attention to body language such as your dates’ facial expressions or how they are speaking to you.   

“For first dates be yourself, don’t overshare too much and I think it will be okay,” Hunter said. “Just watch your back and make sure you’re really paying attention to body language and stuff like that.”  

Some say for a first date, going out in a public setting with people around is safe and important.  

In case something does not feel right, it is recommended to not go home alone with that person. It is also recommended to bring some friends along when out on the first date to ensure your safety.  

“I would say try to be safe and don’t go out with someone you don’t really know and be in a public place,” said UTEP student Xiadany Calderon. “And try to hang out with your friends if you meet someone for the first time.”  

If any person does find themselves in this difficult circumstance or have been a victim of an assault, the El Paso Police Department does offer victim services.  

The Victims Services Response Team (VSRT) offers immediate and compassionate services to victims, providing assistance and information about sexual assaults or any type of violence.  

A VSRT representative is available at each EPPD Regional Command Center; if you have been or know anyone that is a victim of assault, you can contact their headquarters office at (915)-212-4011 or visit their website  

For UTEP students, it is helpful to be aware that the university does provide some resources if you or someone you know has experienced such crime.  

The UTEP Police Department does offer campus escorts when out on a first date around campus or in general. You can also report and submit offenses on campus in confidentiality and they can be contacted at 915-212-4000.   

UTEP does supply counseling; the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence is one of the many resources that offer counseling, support groups, and further aid to UTEP students.  

They also provide a 24/7 Crisis Hope Line for anyone in need.   

So even though Valentine’s Day may be a time for chocolate-covered candies and hearts, crimes and attacks of this nature can sometimes occur.  

Being more informed about resources the city and university offer can and will help you protect yourself and others. 

Erik Acosta is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 



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About the Contributors
Erik Acosta
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
SalmaPaola Baca
SalmaPaola Baca, Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a senior at UTEP majoring in engineering innovation and leadership with a concentration and minor in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography enables her to be photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography. After graduating, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in architecture while working on her photography simultaneously.
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Helpful tips for staying safe during Valentine’s week