Dating safety tips: Zach Lashway explains how your drink order can help you get out of a dangerous situation

Statistics show 1 in 4 women will experience domestic or dating violence in their lifetime

HOUSTON – The countdown is on until cupid fires his arrow of love. Yes, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

Many people are making plans to celebrate their love. For some, maybe they’re getting ready for their first date. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.

Swiping right or doing it the old-fashioned way, meeting out-- Dating is exciting.

But not always is it a match. When on a date, there are those obvious excuses to get you out, if the date is not going well. There’s the accidental wine spill or the not-real emergency, but these excuses are not always enough.

Sometimes, you need help from the bar or restaurant staff to get out of an uncomfortable, unhealthy or unsafe situation.

Elyse Wilson is the general manager at Camerata at Paulie’s.

“I think it was a poster on the back of the door that basically said, ‘if something weird, or if someone is making you feel uncomfortable, order this at the bar.’”

Angel Shot. This is code for, “I need help.”

Signs have popped up in bar and restaurant restrooms. They show the different ways you can order an angel shot: “Neat – Someone will escort you to your vehicle.  Dressed – Someone will call you an Uber or Lyft.  With lime – We will call the local police.”

“I think this day in age, with the amount of online dating happening, it’s probably something really great to have available, for people to feel comfortable for people getting out of an uncomfortable situation. In the hospitality industry, people are guests in your establishment, and the bartender needs to help facilitate those situations when things are uncomfortable, so having a code, is a great way for the bartender to easily know, ‘Oh yeah, let me see what I can figure out to help the situation,’” explained Wilson.

Statistics show one in four women will experience domestic or dating violence in their lifetime. Women 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims.

Some other tips to avoid dating danger-- Make sure your emergency contact in your phone is up to date. If you have an iPhone and you quickly click your lock button five times, your phone will automatically call local authorities and alert your emergency contact. Share your location with someone you trust so they can see where you are at all times.

Another option is to have a code word that you use with your family in case of an emergency. It’s a word you can text to them and they can send help.

About the Author:

Zachery “Zach” Lashway anchors KPRC 2+ Now. He began at KPRC 2 as a reporter in October 2021.