You Can Prevent a Hot Hook-Up Becoming a Crime Scene
The recent murder of a man in Chelsea neighborhood shocked the normally safe New York City neighborhood. As reported here, if sources and news reports are correct, the man may have been murdered by someone he met and brought home.
There have been several murders, in New York and around the country, of men who met someone often but not always an escort, and ended up a murder victim. There is nothing new about this horrific type of crime. Certainly, men have been meeting other men in bars or public spaces like parks and bringing them home. But the Internet has made hooking up with a stranger more prevalent.
The Anti-Violence Project is a New York-based organization that works to prevent violence against LGBT New Yorkers. It is the most prominent of the regional anti-violence organizations. Its executive director, Sharon Staple, has become an eloquent spokesperson in the continuing fight against anti-LGBT violence.
The AVP has a brief guide to "staying safe." Staple recently spoke to EDGE to share her insights about how people can take measures to prevent any kind of hook-up from becoming violent -- and what to do if the situation turns ugly.
EDGE: Is there any degree of danger in the various kinds of hook-ups: online escort, hook-up site, outdoor cruising area, bar?
Sharon Staple: We would define pick-up violence or violence that happens as a result of a pick-up to include escorts. The distinction we are trying to make is between picking someone up or hooking up with someone you already know or do not know well. The alert applies equally to escort, meet at bar, or cruising area.
Our goal is to tell people they should be thinking about way to deliberately stay safe with someone you don’t know well. We know people won’t stop hooking up; we want to minimize the danger.
EDGE: What’s the most important precaution someone can take?
Staple: Let your friends know what you’re going to be doing, whether a text message or some other form of communication. Plan to check in at some point during the evening. When your friend texts you, you can text back, "Everything’s fine, " or "It’s getting weird."