National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

Pick-Up Crimes


If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911.


Pick-up crimes are one of the least discussed crimes committed against LGBT communities

A pick-up crime occurs when the victim meets someone ("picks them up") and then a crime is committed against the victim at the pick-up scene or at a more private location. The range of crimes committed includes humiliation, assault, sexual assault, robbery, and homicide.

Victims of pick-up crimes often suffer needlessly from shame and guilt because they feel responsible for being hurt since they "picked up" their perpetrator. Being victimized in this very personal way is never the victim's fault.


General Safety Tips - Help Prevent Being Victimized in a Pick-Up Crime:

  • Mix your own drinks/Don’t leave drinks unattended: Getting you drunk or giving you knockout drops is an easy way to cloud your judgment.
  • Find out who your date is: Ask for your date’s first name, where they work and live, what they like and do not like. Ask around if anyone knows the person.
  • Introduce your date to your friends or the bartender. Tell a friend where you are going. Make sure your date knows you spread the word about them.
  • Protect your valuables: Do not carry extra cash. If you bring someone home, do not leave your wallet, cash or valuables in sight. Your possessions and the person you brought home could all be gone while you are in the shower or sleeping.


Online Safety Tips - To Keep Yourself Safe While Cruising Online:

  • Protect your security. Never give anyone else your password. No matter why they say they need it or who they say they are, they don’t. If someone asks you for your password, report them to your online service provider. If you think someone knows your password, change it.
  • Protect your privacy. Surfing the ‘net seems anonymous, but Web sites you visit may gather your e-mail address or other information, or record which sites you’ve visited in a "cookie" which they or another site can retrieve later, without your knowledge or consent. Learn about the privacy and security features of your Web browser, and use them. For example, you may want to get a warning if a site tries to give you a cookie, or disable cookies altogether. You can customize your Web browser’s e-mail settings to use a pseudonym instead of your real name, and a blank or false e-mail address. If you want to give someone your real name or e-mail address, you can give it to them in your message.
  • Be cautious about revealing information that could identify you. For example, if you give someone your listed phone number, they can get your real name and street address.
  • Remember that when you meet someone you've chatted with online, you're really meeting them for the first time. When you’re online you don’t have non-verbal cues such as voice inflection or body language to guide your judgement of their honesty or intentions.
  • For your first meeting, pick a place that’s public and neutral. If you’re traveling to visit them in their town or neighborhood, you should pick a place you’re comfortable with when you arrive.
  • Read the safe dating tips above for other safety tips to keep in mind for that first date.
  • Report it.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a pick-up crime, the best thing to do is to try and get help from a local anti-violence program, such as one of NCAVP’s members.  For a list of local anti-violence programs, click here.