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Convention season is upon us! Here are Uplift's five tips on how to make your con experience as awesome -- and safe -- as possible.

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

THIS WEEK'S CALL TO ACTION! - How can you intervene in a situation that seems sketchy or unsafe? Send us your tips, tricks and stories using #engageuplift!

Hollaback! Responding to Harassers, and Bystander Intervention:

Resource: Get help online through RAINN:
Resource: National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4653) to find an ER in your area that has SANEs.
Resource: International Sexual Assault resources -
Resource: Reporting -

Studies on sleep deprivation:

Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
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Follow Uplift- Online Communities Against Sexual Violence:

Produced and written by Kelly Kend:
Hosted by Kat Lazo:
Written by Katie Twyman:
Kat: What's up loves? I'm your host Kat and welcome to another episode of Engage by Uplift, a weekly video series aimed at having real talk for real change.

Conventions and meet ups are a lot of fun. It's a time for us fans to see the things that we love outside of our computer screens and to interact with other folks who love the same things that we love. So this week we're sharing five tips on how to make your con experience better for you and for those around you.

Take care of your body. I have no shame in disclosing that I get pretty cranky if I don't get enough sleep or if I don't eat enough. Actually, a number of studies have been done on sleep deprivation and hunger on aggression and results have shown that a lack of sleep or food can lead to an increase of violent thoughts or actions. Another study even showed that sleep deprived men are more likely to overestimate a woman's interest in him. Mmhm!

And in terms of food, if you don't know, I'm about to tell you, it's pretty hard to find affordably priced food at conventions. So a tip to make sure that you're not running low on food and that your pockets are happy make sure to go to a grocery store before you go to the convention you can grab some trail mix, maybe some granola bars, maybe some fruit and put all that stuff in your bag. Oh, and don't forget to stay hydrated. That's really important. You can buy your own water bottles, but I suggest buying a reusable water bottle like this one. I'm running low!

When alcohol is involved. I'm sure you've all heard, especially us women, to watch what we drink but honestly, the most important thing to remember is that being drunk is never an excuse to take advantage of someone. Practice being a good bystander. If you see that your friend is in a potentially bad situation don't be afraid to intervene. For example, if you see someone trying to separate your friend from the group there are many things you can do to intervene that aren't direct confrontation.

You can ask to step to the side with your friend for a minute or two so that you can check up with them. This same advice is applicable if you see someone pressuring another person into drinking more than they want. Treat people how they want to be treated and respect people's boundaries and remember someone can not give consent if they are incapacitated, whether that's sleeping, unconscious, or intoxicated. If you're too drunk to drive you're probably too drunk to have consensual sex. Having a good time and partying it up is a common practice at many events. However, you should never have a good time at someone else's expense.

Keeping in touch with friends. Conventions are a lot of fun in themselves but they're a lot when you get to share them with your friends. But staying together as a group gets really challenging because there's so many things happening all at once. Fortunately for us, we have technology.

Group chats like text messages, or Facebook chat, or Snapchat make it really easy to update everyone on what you're doing all at once. It's both a really convenient way of letting everyone know when something fun is coming up and a really fast way to get in touch with someone if you don't feel safe. Don't hesitate to reach out to a friend if someone is making you feel uncomfortable and conversely if you get a text message from someone else saying that they're in trouble, don't just assume that someone will check n. Make sure to check in yourself.

Let's take a quick break for this week's call to action. What are some ways that you can interrupt or intervene a sketchy situation at a convention? If you need some ideas, Hollaback has a great guide and you can check out the link in the description down below. My personal favorite way to intervene a sketchy situation is to ask, "Do you have the time?" I know that many of us have a phone with our time on it but that can spark up a conversation or give some time for a person who may feel uncomfortable to get away. Share your ideas and suggestions in the comments down below or if you're on Twitter make sure to use the hashtag EngageUplift. We'll be sharing some of your submissions in the next video.

When meeting new people. When you're meeting someone new for the first time in at a convention be mindful of their body language and what they're trying to tell you and keep in mind that not everyone may be as physically affectionate as you are, so ask for permission before touching someone, even if it's a hug. And if someone tells you to give them their space, listen to them the first time. VidCon's code of conduct says it well -- "If someone doesn't wanna talk to you, don't keep talking to them. If you don't have permission to touch someone, don't touch them."

When you or someone you're with feels unsafe. Hopefully you'll never have to use this information, but knowing what to do if things go wrong is really crucial. If someone won't take no for an answer, if someone is following you when they weren't asked to come along, or if they're doing anything else to make you feel unsafe, it's better to get help sooner than later. This can range from having a friend help you get out of a really bad situation or tracking down some type of authority at the convention or maybe hotel staff in order to tell them what has happened.

If you are witnessing any type of harassment or sexual violence please do not assume that someone else has already taken care of it and please remember, if you feel like this is an emergency, call 911 or any emergency hotline of your choice.

Alright, that's a wrap for this week's episode. Don't forget to comment down below or if you're on Twitter use the hashtag EngageUplift. I want to hear your suggestions on how to intervene sticky situations at conventions. And speaking at conventions I'll be at VidCon from August 23rd to 25th, so make sure to say hi.

Here are a couple examples that you all shared with us from last week's call to action about media's representation of sexual manipulation. If you found this video helpful, make sure to thumbs up and while you're at it why not subscribe. For all the resources in this video or to learn more about Uplift, make sure to check the description box down below. That's it for today! Bye.