Halloween Costumes Do Not Equal Consent

The term “Red Zone” describes the period of time from the beginning of the fall semester through Thanksgiving break on college campuses, and it carries a troubling statistic: more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur during this time. Halloween falls squarely within the Red Zone and can come with heightened risks.

While costume-filled gatherings can be playful and creative, Halloween can be a challenging time for survivors of sexual violence, and perpetrators can take advantage of the holiday. RAINN is committed to ensuring survivors feel safe and supported during this season of fun and celebration. Costumes do not equal consent. Here are some safety tips for everyone to enjoy a safe Halloween.


  • Consent is Key. Costumes are not an invitation for unwanted advances or harassment. Consent remains a fundamental principle in any social setting, including Halloween parties. Everyone deserves respect, and no costume should be perceived as an excuse to disregard boundaries.
  • Stay Connected. Attend Halloween gatherings with friends or allies who understand and respect your boundaries. Staying connected with a support network can provide reassurance and security.
  • Use the Buddy System. Going out? Consider the buddy system. Having a trusted friend with you can help deter potential harassment and provide a safety net.
  • Trust Your Instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, don't hesitate to leave. Trust your instincts and prioritize your well-being.

Halloween is a time to enjoy and have fun, and everyone deserves to partake in the festivities without fear or worry. Promoting respect, consent, and personal boundaries can ensure a safer and more enjoyable Halloween for all.