The key to safe partying is awareness and smart thinking, by understanding the potential risks, and how to handle these situations and the following strategies can help.
Register your party
If you are hosting a party at home, register your event with the police, at least one week prior. You can do this online through Service Victoria, or in person at your local police station.
Limit guest numbers
One of the most effective ways to keep a party under control is to limit the number of guests. Sending out physical invitations or providing wrist bands at entry can help to achieve this.
It is not advisable to advertise a party through social media as the numbers can quickly get out of hand. If you do decide to use social media, ensure that the invitation is private and not publicly accessible.
Hire professional security
Security guards are an effective means of controlling numbers as they can check invites, are first aid trained and ARE also trained in the Responsible Service of Alcohol and, if requested, can be utilised in this way.
Avoid uninvited guests
To avoid gate-crashers:
- restrict guest numbers (and plan ahead for plus-ones)
- avoid the use of social media for invitations
- limit entry points for guests and having all access points supervised during the party
If uninvited guests do arrive, keep calm and ask them to leave. If you have security, they are trained to deal with and diffuse these situations. If not, phone the police on 000 and ask them to attend.
Your duty of care
Under current Victorian laws, underage guests can legally drink at your home, provided they have their parent’s or guardian’s consent. Where possible, you should make contact with all parents and guardians of guests to obtain their consent in advance. One way is to have a signature block on the party invitation – the signature block should contain the parent’s or guardian’s name, phone number, signature and date of signature.
Supplying the alcohol will give you more control over the amount and type consumed by your guests. Ask all guests not to BYO alcohol and monitor this at entry.
You should also have a responsible adult serving any alcohol from a single location. Limit the supply of spirits, and consider options of light beer or other diluted drinks. Have a list of contact details for parents of guests to use in case of emergency.
Talk about safe partying
An invitation to a friend’s party is a great time to have a conversation with your son about safe partying and the potential risks involved. Take the time to sit down with him and talk to him about having a good time without coming to harm.
Key topics to chat about could include:
- Peer pressure to drink or take drugs
- Risk of drink spiking and some tips to avoid it
- Aggressive or violent behaviour
- Unsafe or non-consensual sex
- What to do if things ‘go wrong’
On the day of the party:
- Remind him again of the safety messages
- Make sure you have arranged plans for him to travel to and from the party safely
- Let him know that he will not be in trouble if he needs help and to always reach out to you or a responsible adult
- Ask him to look after his friends at the party too, ideally if everyone has at least one other mate looking out for them, they are at far less risk
- Provide your contact details to the host in case of emergency
While your son might roll his eyes initially when you raise your concerns with him, he will be grateful for the talk eventually and, as he gets older, he may come up with his own strategies on how to safely navigate the teenage years.
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