Respect

A seven letter word with a big impact

Credit: Jeff Quinn

Credit-Seven Fifty Daily https://daily.sevenfifty.com/protecting-people-on-both-sides-of-the-bar/

A seven letter word with a big impact

Respect, is a word with only seven letters, this should make it an easy word to spell and understand. Disrespect, is a nine-letter word, making it harder to spell and seemingly more difficult to understand. Unfortunately, this word seems to be interpreted and implemented in people’s behaviour more than its seven-letter word counterpart. As an 18-year-old female, I have witnessed more disrespect than respect towards others, especially towards girls. 

In our society, we are taught morals and corrected on our wrongs from a young age. I believe that from a certain age we are no longer called out for all our wrongs, and this is when girls in particular begin to be mistreated by boys and young ‘men’.

This article is not going to be a pessimistic view on disrespect towards women, instead, I aim for this piece to empower everyone to watch out for your friends and to call out disrespect and mistreatment when it occurs instead of being bystanders to the issue.  Throughout life, we’re bound to fall victim to, hear of or see disrespect and mistreatment occur. The only way to end people’s mistreatment towards others is for us all to speak up or at least tell someone, to ensure that no one has to be silenced or feel violated by others.

Disrespect and mistreatment can be avoided when people look out for their friends

In my first year of university, I have seen first-hand how girls in particular are mistreated and disrespected in the classroom, workplace and out in social settings. I want to focus mainly on respect on nights out. Parties, and in particular, drinking circumstances, create an environment where things can escalate very quickly. Girls can be fine with a guy one minute and then the next minute, feel violated and disrespected. When you mix young adults, alcohol, loud music and emotions together, incidents do occur where people step over the line. The reality is, that I’m sure every person reading this regardless of your age or gender would have either been in situations or witnessed situations where respect and trust is broken on nights out. These experiences can occur from as young as 16 years old or younger for some people. It is time for us all to be checking in with our friends on nights out and ensure that no one is left alone for long periods, even if they are with a good friend. This is due to the simple fact that in party situations people’s perception of respect and what is ok can be disregarded.

Disrespect and mistreatment can be avoided when people look out for their friends. There are three simple rules that me and my friends follow on nights out to stay safe. We all need to help each other out to ensure that no one is left in uncomfortable and vulnerable situations. 

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Firstly, ensure that you go out in a group and make sure that everyone has someone to go home with. This rule is the most important, as it minimises the risk of people ending up feeling unsafe throughout the evening. If you all stick together as much as possible then no one can be left alone for long amounts of time. One piece of advice, as basic as it may sound, is for everyone in your friendship group to have a ‘buddy’ or someone who will look out for you, and you look out for them. We all care about our friends and that is why we need to be vigilant to ensure that everyone stays safe. 

This next rule is not always easy to implement, however, it can ensure people’s wellbeing. If you see a friend that has had too much to drink, try and step in to stop them from continuing to drink. Often when people have had too much to drink at any age, they do not understand the danger that a few more drinks could cause them. I have seen my closest friends end up in vulnerable and unsafe situations when they have that ‘one more drink’. As a friend, you must help people who may have had too much to drink as they cannot always make safe decisions for themselves. 

Credit: Ricky Sullivan Photography

Finally, rule three is very simple, make sure that your phone is always charged and on. If your friend needs your help and is in an uncomfortable situation, they will most likely try to call you. A lot of people do not charge their phones enough before they go out or bring a portable charger. Having your phone always on whilst you’re out can be beneficial to ensure that you can help others when they to get stuck in a difficult situation.

No one wants to have to tell their family or friends that something has happened to them. You never want to have to make that call saying that something terrible happened to you on a night out.

We all need to respect people’s boundaries and understand that if someone is not safe or says no, that means that nothing else occurs regardless of the situation. It is time for us all to ensure that no one is left feeling silenced after being disrespected. We all need to look out for everyone in our lives, as together we can ensure that everyone stays safe and is respected. It’s only 7 simple letters, however, that word respect makes such a difference. 

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