Date Rape – The phenomenon and how to Avoid it

It’s Friday night and you and your girls decide to go out for a night on the town. Seeing as how you recently broke up with your boyfriend of 2 years and are now officially on a ‘rebound’ you wouldn’t mind a little bit of extra male attention.

 Dolled up in your shortest, most vibrant colored sequins dress, you strap on your 6 inch red-spiked stilettos and hit the door. Outside your house awaits a vehicle filled with four of your closest girlfriends wearing outfits that leave little to the imagination. They must be ready to party. You think to yourself as you do a hop-skip into your best friend’s car.

 

Arriving at the club, you and your girls are treated like V.I.P. guests with your attention getting looks- big hair, bold lipstick, high heels, curve-hugging mini dresses, bright eyes and even brighter smiles. You seem to be the belle of the ball as upon entrance to the club, a fine, well-dressed athletic figure approaches to buy you a drink. As a female who needs some brushing up on her flirtation skills, you bleakly nod and the two of you move towards the large, crowded bar area.

 

“A bottle of hennessy for table 7”, suggests the handsome man to the bartender.

 

“Right away sir,” utters the obedient bartender. The two of you then walk hand-in-hand to table no. 7 and make yourselves comfortable on the lush, white couches in the V.I.P. section. At this point, none of your girls are anywhere to be found and you are now alone with the handsome stranger who initiated contact with you upon arrival into the club.

 

Before even asking your name, he offers you the first of what will become many rounds of coke and hennessy. After swearing off alcohol for the past 6 months, this is an offer you were not going to refuse. The two of you laugh, and then drink, then laugh, and then drink some more as light conversation continues about work, dating and entertainment.

 

Seeing as how you are three rounds of ‘coke and henny’ deep, you head off to the bathroom to ease yourself and also to adjust your make-up.

 

It’s not long before you head back to the table to meet your new beau. His near-perfect smile welcomes you back to your place on the couch.

 

Unfortunately, this smile is deceiving as, unbenounced to you, the handsome man just slipped two tablets of rohyphnol into your half-finished glass of ‘coke and henny’. You pick up the glass and continue drinking it, too tipsy to notice the difference in taste from the first two glasses.

 

Less than an hour later, you black out. The tall handsome man that you barely know lifts you up and carries you out of the club. The friends that you came with fail to notice your disappearance as they themselves get lost in the club’s ambience. While you are in an unconscious state, your oblivious friends continue drinking and dancing. They even joke about you leaving with the handsome man and spending the night with him, ‘getting your groove back.’

 

The next afternoon, you wake up in a large unmade bed with your dress laying on the floor adjacent from you. Filled with confusion, dizziness and fear you scramble to recall last night’s events and search for your belongings amidst all the chaotic thoughts forming in your mind………

 

Although the aforementioned narrative is purely a work of fiction, this nightmare has become reality for many young women. This social phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘date rape’ occurs when drugs are used to assist in cases of rape and other types of sexual assault. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common form of these ‘date rape’ drugs are rohypnol, GHB (gamma hydrobutyric), and ketamine. Typically, these substances have various street names; the most familiar being the ‘ruffie’ , ‘special K’, ‘liquid ecstasy’, ‘molly’, or ‘mind erasers’. The effects of these drugs range from muscle relaxation, loss of motor control to problems recalling events, convulsions, respiratory failure, and even death.

 

I first became aware of the ‘date rape’ phenomenon when a good friend informed me of the tragic death of his sister by a fatal dosage of rohypnol which was slipped in her drink while out celebrating the passing of her bar examination. At the time of her death, she was 26 years old.

 

Women are not the only victims of this crime. Men are also victims of the use of ‘date rape’ drugs however, women tend to be the most frequent targets of this kind of abuse.

 

The best way to prevent this from happening to a friend, family member, or yourself is to be aware of settings that provide ample environments for predators to operate in (i.e. dark, overcrowded clubs and lounges) and to become cognizant of suspicious behavior while attending similar venues.

 

Prevention tips include:

 

*Never leave drinks unattended
*If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party; go with the person to order that drink, watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
*Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange (i.e. unusual saltiness or abnormal color of a drink is a warning sign)
*Open containers yourself
*Avoid going out to clubs or parties alone; use the ‘buddy system’ and stick to it
*Mind personal information you divulge to strangers whom you meet at an outing or social event

 

Adherence to these simple rules-of-thumb while enjoying a night out on the town could be the difference between becoming a victim of unfortunate circumstances and outsmarting a devious individual. Those who can attest to experiencing such horrifying circumstances should not be blamed, mocked, or shunned in our society. If anything, these individuals should be regarded as reminders and survivors. For those who learned from others and have never had such a horrifying experience befall them, these category of individuals should be regarded as winners in the game of Russian roulette that fuels the ‘date rape’ phenomenon.

Source: PSN

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