‘Jane's' story nearly ends with date rape
The chances of turning a woman's life upside down are unimaginable.
Meet ‘Jane.' A vivacious, 5”2', 24 year-old blonde who almost had her entire life altered in a matter of seconds.
“I was in Barcelona (three years back) vacationing with my older sister,” she began saying while we grabbed a coffee in a Oakville coffee shop.
Barcelona, Spain is home to roughly 4.9 million inhabitants. Nearly five million tourists visit the country annually.
“I've always wanted to go there…so my sister and I figured why not? Since we arrived (in Spain) we had been having the most amazing time, exploring new sights…seeing and meeting new people…just enjoying the culture that is so very different from where I originally grew up.”
As Jane and I sat, sipping on our coffees the look on her young face gave it all away.
“I never thought someone who served me drinks in a bar could be so worthless…so cowardly…and to think this was the ‘hot spot' in town to hang out in,” she said.
Jane was referring to the ‘It' spot in Barcelona where local women had told her and her sister to go to when they were out and about getting some shopping done during the day.
The women insisted the sisters go, as this was the place where all the action was.
The women appeared nice and said they have been there a time or two themselves, Jane said.
Although she couldn't remember the name of the establishment Jane did insist the lounge was truly something eye-catching and unique.
Once inside the lounge everything appeared normal and ordinary, according to Jane's vague memory.
People young and older were dancing, drinking by the bar. Over all she said, they appeared to be “having a great time.”
“The place was gorgeous…very upscale,” she insisted.
As Jane proceeded to talk about the events of that evening, she then revealed what came next.
“I was at the bar…grabbing drinks with my sister.
“We were drinking the same thing all night…when all of a sudden the male bartender insisted on not letting us leave without trying his in-house specialty. My sister and I glanced at one another…and said why not? I mean this guy had been serving us all night long.”
The girls took the drinks, thanked the bartender and made their way to the dance floor.
Jane's sister was too busy dancing when Jane took her first sip of her ‘must-have' in-house specialty.
At first Jane felt fine when all of a sudden after her second…or maybe third sip, she barely recalled, she started to feel a little faint…almost to the point where sweat wouldn't stop beating down her face.
Her sister took notice, not having taken a sip of her own drink (which they would later find out had the same drug mixed in it).
Jane's sister insisted on taking her little sister back to their hotel room when the same bartender who mixed their drinks, came over offering to help the tourists back to their suite.
“At this point…I was seeing double and falling in and out of consciousness,” she recalled.
Adding “I think I may have even gotten a little angry with my sister for not letting the man who I thought was being genuine to help us back to our room.”
At this moment, Jane got an almost guilty, sad look on her face.
Looking back she just couldn't believe she had been so naive as to think she almost allowed the man who wanted to harm her and possibly her sister to escort her to her bedroom, she said.
The effects of date rape drugs vary accordingly. People can experience everything from slurred speech to convulsions and Jane to this day does not know what exactly she was endangered with while on vacation in Spain.
According to stats, attempted date rape is an ever-changing social ill that increases by the number with each year that passes.
The stats also indicate that women between the ages of 16 and 24 are four times more likely to be victimized when dealing with date rape in Canada.
Jane was 21 at the time.
Most women extend a certain degree of trusting behavioural patterns towards men and in cases like Jane's and her sister's, the unimaginable almost occurred.
Thankfully in Jane's case, her older sister was more interested in dancing rather than enjoying her ‘must-have drink.'
Jane's older sister's way of thinking saved her little sister's life; and prevented hers from being endangered.
To this day Jane does not want to even think of what may have happened if her sister was in the same state as she was that evening.
Thankfully Jane is here today to speak about how she was almost a victim of a heinous crime that would have altered her life for the long haul in a matter of seconds.
I asked Jane if she would have done anything differently that evening?
She had the following advice for women who may put themselves in the same situation as she put herself in while on vacation.
- Limit your alcohol intake on any given night, drink in moderate consumption
- Always keep an eye on your drink and never accept a drink from a stranger
- Ninety per cent of date rapes or similar crimes occur when the victim is under the influence and does not have a clearer than normal perception of what could happen
- Always be aware of danger signs and maintain a buddy system
- A little flirting is inevitable but keep it to a minimum because you never know who may be out to harm you or loved ones around you. Especially in a foreign country
- Be on the lookout for danger signs at all times
- Most rapes occur when a person is heading home; in Jane's case she almost let the bartender escort them back to their hotel. Do not leave a place with anyone you do not know
- Most importantly know your rights and if you put yourself in a questionable situation, be sure to never be alone and have a trusting companion with you at all times
- Remember, no one can move into your personal space without your consent Realizing that date rape, acquaintance rape or being a victim of getting drugged can be avoided if certain precautions are met. In Jane's case involving the ‘trusting' bartender, he was never charged nor does she know 100 per cent what was put into her drink that evening.