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  1. Alfa
    DATE-RAPE DRUG USE ON THE RISE


    Date-rape drugging has more than doubled in the last five years in Richmond, Vancouver and the North Shore, according to Janet Ericksen, co-author of a new study that appeared in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.


    And not only are rates rising, the sharpest increase has been among girls age 15 to 19.


    "This used to be seen as a college or university phenomena, but it's happening among high school kids as well," said Ericksen, a co-author of the study and a nurse with the sexual assault unit at Vancouver General Hospital.


    The study does not break the rates down to the three specific municipalities. However, Ericksen notes, "I have no doubt that if it's on the rise here, it's on the rise there in Richmond."


    "The typical scenario," explained Ericksen, "is that someone will report being in some social situation where they've had one or two drinks, often alcohol but not always. And from that moment on, they have no recollection of what happened, until they wake up."


    Sometimes they wake up with no clothes on or in a strange bed. Other times, there's even less evident, just a feeling.


    What's consistent, however, is the black out that is inconsistent with the number of drinks imbibed.


    In the case of the 15 to 19-year-old age group, assaults usually happen at home parties and the victim may be friends with, or at least know, the assailant.


    "It is so hard for these girls to come forward. It's traumatic enough to be sexually assaulted, but then to think that it was done by a friend _ makes these women extremely confused, upset and reluctant to go to the police," said Ericksen.


    This may, in part, explain why Richmond RCMP's Cpl. Peter Thiessen said he is not aware of any increase in cases of drug-induced rapes in Richmond.


    Anita Roberts, the founder of SafeTeen, is convinced it is happening at an increasing rate in Richmond.


    "I hear about it in every school I go into," said Roberts, whose program dealing with violence and sexuality has been integrated in the Richmond school district's curriculum. Every Grade 10 female student goes through a SafeTeen workshop where they learn about the issues - and Roberts learns from them what's really happening.


    Rohypnol is the drug of choice and it's frighteningly easy to get thanks to pushers (often guys in their 20s) who hang around the schools, she said.


    They eventually find a high school boy who will buy it. That boy, in turn, sells to others out of his locker.


    But while it's prevalent, women are not helpless, Roberts notes. The best defense is education.


    Her presenters, usually hip-looking 20-year-olds, offer tips, telling women to be aware of their drinks and use a buddy system. But more importantly, talk about personal empowerment.


    "In all the 27 years I've been working in this area of sexual assault, every woman I've talked to about her situation said they had a 'bad feeling.'


    "We have to teach girls to trust that 'bad feeling' and get themselves safe."


    Samantha Kearney a spokeswoman for Rape Relief agrees it's important to arm women with tips and a sense of empowerment, but we also have to form a united front and make it clear to men that this is unacceptable.


    "There is nothing new here. Men have been using drugs to get access to women for a long time. We have to call them on it. We have the idea that it is some lone creep out there, but often these guys aren't alone. It's up to other men to help stop it, as well as the bar workers and the police."


    Roberts says her program is also offered to boys, although it's not as popular. She notes that the male code is extremely hard to break.


    "These boys will sometimes do things under pressure that they would never otherwise do. It is more about proving to each other, than it is about sex."

Comments

  1. manda
    I think that's so smart to teach women to listen to their bad feelings. Maybe they oughtta do some trash clean-up outside the high school. I hate to condone a drug bust, but date rape drugs are NO GOOD. What the fuck is date rape? To a woman, rape is rape. If some guy drugged me and raped me, "date" is no fucking part of that. In high school, we did acid, smoked some grass-what the fuck is happening to society???
    It troubles me to think of these already twisted little fuck faces getting further twisted by pusher man- and who suffers???
    The young girls.
    It's an easy decision for me- put all the pushers in their own seperate prison, and have every meal, every drink drugged. Strap them down and inject them for all I care- just get 'em (the pushers) all fucked up and have them raped by violent homosexuals.
    I may sound harsh but there are no easy days after being raped or sexually abused. It's easy to become a victim after that. These girls do not deserve this.
    This is the part of drugs I hate.
    Yes, my alternative is not the best one, yet I bet it would highly deterring to a lot of them.
    Thank You. I'm done.
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