"Any one of us could be Karen": Irish woman raises awareness of safety on nights out

An Irish woman is raising awareness of a simple way for people to ensure their safety on a night out in the wake of Karen Buckley’s disappearance.

Hilary McGann wants to ensure that what happened to Karen Buckley in Glasgow will never happen to another person.

"Along with the rest of the country, I was wishing, hoping and praying for the safe return of Karen Buckley," she says.

"As details of her disappearance and death emerge, the painful lesson here is that any one of us could be Karen. A fun night out with friends has turned into a nightmare for too many people. 

"One simple lapse of judgement could have lasting and undeserved consequences. We really need to look out for each other!"

"Social media has played such a positive part in spreading awareness for Karen's situation. Why don't we start using our phones as a way of preventing situations like these?"

Hilary has suggested that a group chat could reduce the danger many people face when socialising by avoiding similar situations and minding friends when out. She is calling it 'O.U.T'.

"I just had a very simple thought. Why not create a specific group chat with whoever you are going out with and make sure that everyone writes 'home' when they are safe and sound in bed.

"O - organise a specific group chat for that night. U - use it to stay in touch of where you are etc. T - Text 'home' when you're safe and sound.

Hilary says she "just thought it might be an easy way to mind each other".

"We're all guilty of assuming our friends are fine, and none of us want to see another young, beautiful person in such a tragic situation."

"It is often too late to wait until the next morning to check all your friends are ok," she told the Irish Examiner. "I think a simple step of staying in touch could avoid a possible assault or death."

Hilary voiced her idea in a Facebook post last night and it has since gone viral.

"The status I put up last night has already been shared 200 times and has more than 820 likes."

Can't see the Facebook post? Click here.


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