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Dealing with toolies

It's a sad fact of life that wherever there's a bunch of young people having fun, there's also going to be idiots there. 'Toolies' are non-schoolies who head to schoolies destinations hoping to cause trouble. If you're planning on heading to a schoolies hotspot, it's good to know how you can avoid toolies and keep your holiday safe and fun.

Keeping idiots at bay

Not everyone's a predator who's out to hurt or injure you. Sometimes toolies (or even other schoolies) are just being annoying. Even if someone seems pretty harmless, it's best not to encourage their behaviour and to get rid of them as quickly as you can. Here's some tips:

  • Don't take the bait - usually if you ignore any unwanted advances (even if they seem harmless) people will often get bored and move elsewhere.
  • Politely but firmly tell them to go away - there's no need to be rude or violent, but make it clear that you don't accept their behaviour and you don't want them around you or your friends
  • If someone's ignoring you and you feel unsafe, you could say you are going to be sick - people get out of the way pretty quickly if someone's going to vomit
  • Get out of there - if the idiot just won't go away, do the next best thing and get away yourself. If possible, report them to a venue manager, security staff or police

Violence

Schoolies celebrations can have a reputation for getting violent. Things can be a bit blown out of proportion in the media - and there's always a few idiots that spoil it for everyone - but it is true that toolie violence can be a problem at schoolies. Here's some tips to avoid getting involved:

  • Only go with people you trust
  • Keep an eye on your friends - good friends make sure that their friends are safe and make safe choices
  • Watch out for groups of guys wandering around aimlessly
  • Fights spread easily, so if one starts nearby you should get out of the area
  • If you're drunk you make an easy target 
  • If someone's stirring you, they may just be looking for an excuse to fight you - don't take the bait
  • If you do find yourself in a violent situation, then discretion is the better part of valour - get out of there, fast

Sexual assault

Toolies come to schoolies venues to take advantage of young people. If you're drunk or not on your guard, you can be vulnerable. Think about the things you can do to keep you and your friends safe. These might include:

  • Plan to hang out in a group when you go out
  • Always walk on well-lit streets. There may be less lighting in country areas so take a torch with you
  • Have a designated meeting area where you can meet up if you get lost or separated from your friends
  • Organise transport ahead of time so you get there and back safely
  • Let someone know where you're going, and when you'll be back. If your plans change, let them know
  • Alcohol and sex can be a dangerous mix. You won't be able to make good decisions if you're impaired by alcohol or other drugs
  • Look after yourself and don't put yourself in a position where you are alone with someone you don't know well.

Drink spiking

Drink spiking is when alcohol or drugs are added to your drink without being aware of it. This makes you drunk or drug-affected. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be spiked, and it can happen at clubs, bars, parties, barbeques or any place where there's alcohol. Some ways you can avoid drink spiking are:

  • Don't accept drinks from strangers
  • Don't leave your drink unattended
  • If someone offers you a drink, go to the bar with them 
  • Always watch your drinks - buy your own and know what you are drinking
  • Don't drink something you did not open, or see opened or poured
  • If you're unsure about your drink, leave it
  • If you feel dizzy or sick, ask someone you trust to take you to a safe place. If you're alone or can't find your friends, tell the bar staff 
  • Keep an eye on your friends. If someone collapses and is unconscious, call an ambulance immediately - but don't leave them alone
  • If you're on a date with someone you don't know, arrange for a friend to call you during the evening and/or pick you up. Meet in a public space and arrange your own transport

Related links

Victoria Police - Community Safety
Tips for protecting yourself while walking, driving, while at home or while on public transport.

Victoria Legal Aid - Sexual assault
Find out what sexual assault is, what to do if it happens to you, how to report it, the process involved in reporting it and going to court. Includes lots of contacts.

Reach Out! - What to do in an emergency
Excellent information describing what to do in an emergency situation, including drug overdoses, self-harm, and if someone goes missing.

Victoria Police - Emergency assistance
Describes the emergency assistance service. Outlines what happens when you call 000, what happens when you're connected to Victoria Police, what if you need more than one emergency service, and when not to call.

Department of Human Services

This content must not be reused or reproduced without consent from Department of Human Services.