Crime Trackers To Help Drink Spiking Victims
With fears rising of increased numbers of women
falling victim to drink spiking,
a national project aims to
raise awareness of the crime.
The Australian Institute of
Criminology will investigate the
nature and extent of drink-spiking and its connection with
The project, funded by the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, will involve police, sexual assault
centres, hospitals, emergency
workers and the liquor industry.
The AIC will soon advertise
for victims in each state and
territory to take part in telephone interviews. Project manager Natalie Taylor said there
was no "hard evidence
nationally on drink-spiking".
SA Child and Youth Health
welcomed the project and said
its youth healthline, had recorded an increased number of
calls relating to drink-spiking.
"This time of the year we find
there is the potential for an
increase in the number of
CYH youth services strategic
manager Dorian Marsland said.
"It's starting to become the
party season and more people
are out and about drinking - for
some it will be their first drinking experience.
"The concerns raised to us is
that young people are just not
sure what has happened to
them or if they have been victims of sexual assault."
CYH community health
worker Brad McCloud said
most incidents of spiked drinks
took place in isolated locations
rather than bars, but cautioned
young people not to underestimate the effects of alcohol.
SA police said yesterday they
were concerned about drink-spiking and they were pleased
to be involved with the institute's research project.
One victim, Lorrene Smale, 28, had a
stark warning for other young
people. "Dont think it doesn't
happen, because it does," she
Ms Smale, of Prospect, was a
victim of drink-spiking four
years ago when at a club dancing with some friends.
After sipping her drink, which
had been next to her feet, she
"started to feel queasy, light-headed and sweaty",
Her friend's boyfriend had a
sip of the drink and said he
thought it had been spiked.
Ms Smale spent the next five
hours in hospital.
Friends Jodie Scarvelis, 29, of
Richmond, and Kirsti Barclay,
36, of Fulham Gardens, said
they were wary and never accepted drinks from strangers.
Adelaide Advertiser (28-10-2003)