Women Report Drug Rapes In Taranaki
7 December 2006
Seven women have reported being drugged and raped in Taranaki in less than a week, prompting a warning from police and rape crisis centres.
All of the women had been to pubs with friends on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday night in Stratford or New Plymouth, the Taranaki Daily News reported.
The young women's stories have horrified sex abuse counsellors. None of the women were on their own and none of them have memories of the night's events. It is believed a gang of men may be behind the attacks.
Police and rape crisis groups have joined forces to alert people in bars to keep an eye on their drinks.
One of the seven victims was expected to lay a complaint with police and the others were considering the same action.
It was possible the seven were only the tip of the iceberg, Safer Centre spokeswoman Lorraine Jans, of New Plymouth, said. said.
Seven drug-rapes in a week suspected in Taranaki
07 Dec 2006
Radio New Zealand
Two Taranaki women are being tested for traces of stupefying drugs after they and five others complained they were drugged and raped over the past week.
One complaint has been laid with the police and other women who believe they have been attacked are being encouraged to come forward.
Taranaki SAFER Centre says the women - aged between 19 and 38 - remember little detail after a night out in New Plymouth or Stratford, having woken up to discover evidence of often brutal sexual assaults. Most are reluctant to go to the police.
Spokeswoman Lorraine Jans says it is clear that more than alcohol is involved.
The head of the police sexual abuse team in New Plymouth, Detective Sue Ashton, says recent advances in forensic testing have made it easier to detect traces of drugs.
Police say they are concerned about the reports of the drug rapes but cannot yet confirm the allegations.
Copyright © 2006 Radio New Zealand
Police call for Taranaki drug rape victims to come forward
07 DECEMBER 2006
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Police today appealed to women who have reported being drugged and raped in Taranaki in the past week to come forward. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said Taranaki police were "very concerned" about the seven alleged drug rapes but had so far received no formal complaints. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]He understood why victims did not always come forward, but he encouraged these women do so. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The women complained to rape crisis centres about the attacks after they had been to pubs with friends on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday night in Stratford or New Plymouth. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]It was possible the seven were only the tip of the iceberg, New Plymouth Safer Centre spokeswoman Lorraine Jans, of New Plymouth, said. It was possible a gang of men could be behind the attacks. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Mr Coward said today that if the victims came forward "we can, and will, investigate their complaints. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]"Even if they can't remember what happened, we may be able to advance the investigation by other means, including scene examinations and forensic testing." [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Mr Coward said Hawera police were currently investigating a separate alleged rape from last weekend, but it was too early to tell if it was drug rape. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]He advised women not to leave drinks unattended, not to accept drinks from strangers and to look after each other. [/FONT]
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