Recent revelations about abuses of power and sexual assault in Hollywood, Professional Sports, and Government have brought a lot of focus on the importance of solidarity and support for victims of sexual pressure, assault, and chemically assisted rape. It also opens the discussions on victim shaming and the stigma associated with reporting sexual abuse. Unfortunately, these issues will not become less prominent by simply talking about them. Women must be extra diligent in taking every precaution they can when going out, whether solo or with friends.
One situation where it is wise to be extra cautious is when drinking in a public setting such as a bar. Alcohol isn’t required to make drugs like GHB effective in making a person vulnerable. Leaving a drink, any drink, unattended is an opportunity for a predator to do serious harm to another person. The loss of motor function can make a person appear drunk when actually they have been assaulted and will be assaulted again, while the assailant uses the opportunity to seem like a helpful good samaritan coming to the aid of someone in need.
It is commonly taught in self -defense classes that a woman who is being assaulted should yell out “FIRE” not “RAPE” or “HELP” because people will come running if they think something is going up in flames but not if they think a woman is being sexually assaulted. It is understandable that one would not want to put themselves in harms way with an attacker for fear of them being armed. This should reaffirm the the idea that taking personal responsibility for your own safety is paramount.
It should never be assumed that leaving a drink or belongings unattended in a public place is ok. With the world becoming increasingly more crowded and the proliferation of drugs within society, it is more and more likely that a person will be the victim of a crime at least once in their lifetime. For a woman, the risk is significantly higher that she will be physically assaulted, especially if she is alone.
Here is a video showing that a drink need not be left unattended for a predator to take advantage of a lack of focused attention. Please be aware of the risks associated with being out in public and keep an eye on your surroundings. Staying Safe is something we must do actively.