Halloween is the undoubtedly the best holiday of the year! Here at STAR, we know a few ways to make it even better!
Celebrate responsibly (and respectfully)
Magic is in the air! Halloween isn’t just for the kiddos; we adults get an excuse to party too. As we all know, many adult gatherings include alcohol—society’s go-to social lubricant. So, remember to drink responsibly: don’t drive drunk, don’t damage your friend’s property, don’t puke all over your awesome costume—but most importantly, don’t sexually assault someone. Sex requires conscious, enthusiastic consent from both parties, and sometimes people can be too drunk to consent. Make sure the magic is wanted before you make a move.
Care for your neighbor
Speaking of consent, make sure to keep an eye out for your peers. We’ve all heard the mantra before: “if you see something, say something.” But as we come to recognize the culture in our society, this message carries a heavier weight. As stated in the new Obama administration campaign #ItsOnUs, we are all responsible for challenging negative attitudes, beliefs, words and actions and for promoting positive behaviors. Although this particular campaign is targeted toward college campuses, it relates to the entire community. Be mindful of yourself, but also take time to care for others.
Costumes are not invitations
Halloween is the time of year where the wacky and weird are welcome. It is typical to see Halloween costumes that stray from the day-to-day norm, and sometimes different can be downright sexy. But keep in mind, a person cannot consent, welcome or invite anyone or anything with his/her clothes. Clothes are cool and all, but they can’t talk.
Costumes are not tools for exploitation
While dressing in costume is an avenue to explore and express yourself, there is no good reason to exploit or offend someone in the process. Two types of Halloween costumes to avoid: those that may sexually exploit children and those that glorify violence and oppression.
Communicate with your children
Adults spend a lot of time teaching children how to be safe when trick-or-treating. They explain which candies should be eaten or thrown away. But the conversation shouldn’t just be about the treats—we need to talk about treatment too. Make sure to educate yourself and others about child sexual abuse, and to educate children in your care about the difference between healthy/appropriate and unhealthy/abusive interactions and relationships.
Follow these steps, and you’re sure to have a wickedly wonderful Halloween!