Via Essence How to Stay Safe on Your Date by Paul C. Brunson.

It was a Sunday after morning church service. My client was on her third date with a very charming man she met a few weeks prior at a business-networking event. The plan was for them to go from church to brunch and then possibly a walk in the park. En route to eat, the man asked to briefly stop at his place to check on his sick dog. My client obliged, and seconds after they reached his apartment, she was assaulted. True story.

Sadly, this is not uncommon. Date assaults have drastically increased over the years. In 2011, 57% of rape assaults happened on a date. Single women face this reality every time they walk out the door with plans to meet a stranger.

The best defense against being assaulted when on a date is a good offense. Taking the proper steps prior to and on the date can be the difference between life and death – seriously. I want to teach you how to date safely. I cannot stress the importance of this.

Here are 15 things you should always do to ensure you’re dating safe. Take notes, please.

Choose Your Profile Name Wisely

This goes for online dating sites, twitter, etc. Everyone wants an eye-catching username, but if your name is “bigbootykitty” you’ll attract a very specific person, and most likely, not the guy you had in mind.

Go Somewhere Public

As romantic as a candlelight dinner at your date’s apartment may sound, it’s not safe. Never ever ever (ever!) go on a first date at your place or someone’s house.

Watch Your Drink

Keeping an eye on your drink — at all times — means someone else can’t slip something in it and change your plans for the evening without you knowing about it. This one’s just too easy to ignore, and if you do, the consequences could be grave.

To read the rest of the 15 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Date click here –>Essence