updated 26 Feb 2013, 00:36
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Fri, Jan 28, 2011
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Date rapes can occur even with someone you know and trust
by Daphne Iking

RANDOM guy sits alone at a corner of a crowded, noisy club observing a young lady. He waits for lady to stop paying attention to her drink and makes his move.

He laces her glass with a sedative - usually a sleeping pill - then makes his way to her when she becomes weak and disoriented. That would be the typical drink-spiking scenario we understand from movies.

Scary? Even scarier is that movie-like scene is no longer your typical scenario, nor is the young lady your typical drink-spiking victim.

According to a research done by Roofie Foundation that deals with drink-spiking and drug rape, women aged between 30 and 50 are most at risk.

A significant proportion of victims had their drinks spiked at work-related events, private homes and even on business premises, going against the notion that drink-spiking only occurs in rowdy nightclubs or pubs.

Having spent some weekends playing pool in the neighbourhood pub and attending events both private and work-oriented , I had always assumed my drinks were safe and the company I was with were a trusted lot. I became less trusting after hearing these horror stories.

*Senah was at a business function when a colleague of hers bought her a bottle of beer. More than just a social drinker, she knew she was good at holding her drinks, but as soon as she consumed that beer, she could barely walk.

"I knew what was going on. I just couldn't physically regain myself. I suspected something amiss because the same guy was so persistent on sending me home. Luckily my cousins were with me and they insisted they'd send me back. A few of my friends had the same experience. It's sick that most of the cases are perpetrated by people whom you know."

*Rebecca was not so fortunate to have her friends send her home. All she recalls was lying naked in someone else's house the next day with a painful throb between her eyes and legs. Mortified, she used his bathroom to 'freshen up', still confused as to what had happened the night before.

"I felt something was not right. I've been drunk many times, and my after-effects of drinking are predictable - I won't be walking straight, but I'm aware of my surroundings. Then I'd vomit it all out, be hungry - gorge at the nearest mamak store with friends and then wake up with a massive hangover the next day. The important thing is this: I'd usually remember what happened. But this time around, I couldn't recall a thing!"

A thorough physical inspection revealed she was raped.

Both Senah and Rebecca did not report the incidents.

Horrified, I asked them why.

"At that time, I was young. I didn't know you could report such a 'trivial' matter'," said Senah.

For Rebecca, she had just got married and her husband was away.

"By the time I had the courage to tell someone, it was too late to investigate as the evidence leaves the body after 72 hours."

I felt helpless for Rebecca. Especially when she found out that she was pregnant.

And if you think drink-spiking victims are just women, think again.

Alex reported the incident but despite the evidence, the school he was working for pressed forward his dismissal for being under the influence of drugs. His career was ruined and his reputation tarnished.

In most drink-spiking incidents, the perpetrator intends to physically or sexually assault their victims.

The Chinese New Year celebrations may be your chance to let loose, but do beware of the risks. You never know when that unwelcome inebriation of drinks comes your way.

* Names have been changed for protection.

Daphne Iking is a TV anchor and emcee. This is her first article for the Different Spin and was slightly late in the target deadline, not because her Milo was spiked, but because she is still adjusting to her three-year-old's new schedule now that the little tyke has started school.

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