Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I often get emails about “true stories” about how we should be careful because someone knows someone who knows someone else who had something bad happen to them. Sometimes the occurrences heighten our awareness of things, but , more often than not, these messages get a quick read, and are then forgotten, deleted from my inbox.

Something bad happened last year. Something too close to home. Something happened to my best friend. She’s given me the okay to write about it here as she wants to raise awareness. I want you to read it and take away from it what will.

I have a best friend (can you relate to that?)
My best friend is in her thirties (can you relate to that?)
She has been married for close to a decade (can you relate to that?)
She likes to go out with girlfriends and have a drink or two and laugh and be social (can you relate to that?)
She went with some friends to a bar (can you relate to that?)
She ordered a martini or two (can you relate to that?)
She danced (can you relate to that?)
She got up to go use the bathroom (can you relate to that?)

Here is the part where you may stop relating, but please read on.

Someone put something in her drink.

She doesn’t remember anything that happened after that. She remembers waking up, in a strange apartment, to a fat, ugly man beside her. She remembers all the blood from her broken nose. She remembers the physical pain from other abuses he imposed on her. She remembers seeing her broken necklace. She remembers him trying to convince her that what had happened was consensual. She remembers him having the balls to drive her home, all the while trying to convince her that what had happened was mutual.

She went straight to the hospital where the police were called in. She remembers, most vividly, most painfully, the cops (the good guys) trying to blame what had happened on her, telling her she was a married woman who was embarrassed about an indiscretion. Even after evidence of large amounts of drugs being found in her system, a broken nose, bruises all over her body, the cops were still unsympathetic, telling her that they had been called in on the weekend to deal with this. She remembers being resented.

She remembers wondering how she could possibly tell her husband about this. She had to be tested routinely for every STD possible, as the rapist did not use a condom.

This happened mid-October last year. She needs counseling once a week, sometimes more. She takes a pharmacy worth of pills to deal with what happened to her. Even a year later, I held her in my arms the other night while she sobbed, and could not help but think I was holding something broken, and wondered if she could ever be fixed.

Please, whether you are a mom, sister, aunt, friend, WHATEVER. Please pass this story on so it doesn’t happen close to your home. Thank god my friend is strong enough and willing to share her story and fight for what is right. Please, go out, have fun, but always be aware.


alison said...

That poor girl. Victimized twice -- once by the lowlife that drugged her and then again by the cops. The guys that were supposed to help. My heart goes out to her. I hope that the therapy will help, and I hope her husband understood and was supportive.

I think something like this happened, or almost happened, to my room-mate. She made it home safely with me and my boyfriend, but it could have gone wrong.

Thanks for the timely reminder, I have a major reason to celebrate coming up and a girls' night out is planned. Your friend is very brave to share this story.

Anonymous said...

well said my sugar. let's add the "happy"(??) note that when they FINALLY investigated, they found 3 other victims and he now has 4 charges of sexual assault and one charge of drugging. So at least a serial rapist has been "caught" - we'll see how the justice system deals with him, in about a YEAR when his trial finally comes up. By the way, he will still be walking/stalking the streets until his trial. Let's hope the police are at least keeping an eye on him.
thank you MeanOldMommy - for the hugs and love - that's the glue that's going to put me back together someday.

Jhianna said...

I'll pass on the story to the women I know. Thank you for being so brave.

something blue said...

That is terribly scary, frustrating and horrible.

I hope your friend finds some peace.

Anonymous said...

This happened to my sister. She has never truly gotten over it, and the bastards got away with it.

I'm *so* so sorry this happened to your friend. I pray she finds healing and peace.

Anonymous said...

That is horrible. I can't even imagine. If I may ask, were her friends already gone from the bar? Did they not notice some stranger hauling her off? This is in no way blaming anyone but the rapist. I am just confused.

meanie said...

hi anonymous - my friend was going back and forth between two sets of friends at the bar - two tables at opposite ends of the place. both groups assumed she had just table hopped to the other group (does that make sense?) so it wasn't until she was missing for awhile that anyone noticed. what is truly unfortunate is that there is a gas station beside the bar that has camera surveillance, but the footage is erased after a certain period of time, and the police didn't investigate in time to see if there was anything recorded that might help her with her case against the rapist.

Anonymous said...

It happened to me when I was in college. Worst thing ever. I am 31 and think about it all the time. I never went to the cops because it was someone I kind of knew and he convinced me in was consensual. Regret not going to the cops now.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for clearing up the friend issue, Meanie, because my first thought was "WHERE WERE HER FRIENDS???"

I am outraged. Angry. Saddened. Not speechless, simply too filled with adjectives to find a coherent statment.

Please, what happened next? Were the officers finally forced to do their jobs? Was the fat pig held accountable? Was her husband a real man?

Corey said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I knew there had to be an explanation as to where her friends were. That is just horrible. Is there any action that she can take against the police department for negligence? It sounds like this guy is still out there? Or that the case against him is circumstantial?

Sarcastica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarcastica said...

am completely outraged that the police would react that way. How are you supposed to trust them if they point the finger of blame?! Isn't that illegal? You aren't supposed to be bias in that field. I feel like punching a cop!

This nearly happened to someone I love. This is why if I go to parties, I never leave my drink with anybody even for an instant.

I hope your friend benefits from counseling. She is brave and it wasn't her fault at all.

Anonymous said...

kimberly and corey, sarcastica and others: thank you for your support - meanoldmommy was writing about me, and I would like to answer a few of your questions. there is an "investigation" into the police actions - an internal investigation - so no bias there! And yes, the "accused" is back on the streets after posting bail. And will be around until his trial, which will likely take at least a year. Some other interesting facts: he owns a pub, which is attached to a Holiday Inn. I was NOT a local victim, a fact he probably knew. Also, my friends were right there with me (NOT at the pub he owns)- either I went to the bathroom on my own, or went outside for a cigarette, and at whatever moment the drugs he slipped in my drink took effect, he was there. Probably looking like a nice guy taking a girl who is passed out home. Just my guess, as my memory is completely wiped out. My purse was still on the table, so my friends assumed I was still somewhere within the bar. Side note: my husband has been absolutely amazing - there are no words to describe how well he has taken care of me, I can't imagine being in his position, but he is a miracle for me. And the "accused" has been charged with FOUR counts of sexual assault, so 4 different victims - and one of administering a noxious substance - so I don't think there is anything circumstantial about it. But he is "innocent until proven guilty", and released with some conditions, such as not being alone with any woman (except his mother and GIRLFRIEND) and not going to any bars or drinking establishments EXCEPT FOR THE ONE HE OWNS. Interesting. Anyway, thanks to Meanonldmommy for giving me a place to share - and for being such a wonderful, supportive, loving friend. You're SPECIAL!!

chirky said...

Hi - I got here through Karen's site (Troll Baby/Vodkarella).

I have experienced something somewhat similar, and have gone through tons of counseling, and now I lead a sexual abuse support group in Dallas, Texas.

If you email me your addresss (jes@chirky.com), I'll send your friend a workbook she may appreciate working through with her counselor. I can also recommend books for her husband to read as he supports her through recovery.

Your friend is not alone, however alone she may feel at times. Recover from this type of abuse is a lifelong process.

Good for her for having the balls to go to the police, however unsympathetic and resentful they were. Not enough survivors do that.

Amy said...

This is just sick, what an absolute nightmare. I hope the guy gets what is coming to him.

lildb said...

dude. this is so wrong on so many levels, and to think that the victim has to a) deal with all the resulting emotional detritus for probably the rest of her life, and b) know that the ******** is out there, potentially perpetrating this same scenario on other victims, -- oh my god. my stomach hurts.

I'm so sorry your friend had to go through that. I'm so sorry that there are people who exist who are so lacking in compassion for their fellow society-mates that they would do those sorts of things.


Tink said...

Oh my God! That's so horrible. The whole thing, the drugs, the rape, the cops... This world scares me. My thoughts and love go out to your friend. I don't even know her. But I would gladly welcome her as kin.

Anonymous said...

I'm really not sure which is worse, the act of the rape or the reaction of the police officers. To suggest that she was a married woman trying to "cover up an indiscretion" - with a broken nose and other various injuries? what kind of indiscretion did they think it was? I am disgusted beyond words, both that this could happen to someone and at the police.

Lisa said...

THis is so very horrible. I am so sorry for your friend. My heart is with her. A bunch of us go out on Wednesday nights. Will forward this to a bunch of the chicks because you never know....

JaniceNW said...

Living in an area with many colleges and universities, I see stories of similar things happening to girls at a frat party, or bar hopping or just trying to have fun. They are in no way, asking to drugged, raped, beat up and then completely humiliated by the very men and women who are supposed to protect them.

I am very sorry Anonymous that you had to experience this. I will pray for healing.

I was "dated-raped" back before they had the term. Back when no meant yes, supposedly, in some twisted male fantasy. I had so little self esteem that I convinced myself he wasn't a bad guy and continued to date him for a few more months. We were uneducated about the fact what he did was rape. Not just a little persuasion. This was in the late 70's. If I knew then.......I would have decimated his little weenie and screamed my head off as I meant no when I said it.

Thank you for telling this story and for educating young women who need to know their rights and what danger lurks close by.

Peace for you.

DaniGirl said...

Thank you to meanie and your brave friend for sharing this story. It truly seems like something that only happens to other people, to people on TV, to someone ELSE.

I hope getting this out helps you on the path to healing...

slackermommy said...

I'm so sorry this happened to your friend and sick to my stomach. These scenarios happen way more than we think. My dad is a cop and crime scene tech. Even though he's a shitty father he goes after rapists with a vengeance and takes pride in how many he has put away due to the evidence he collects. I think this is his restitution for abusing my mom for many years. You would be sick to know how many rapes there are and those are the ones that are reported. Many aren't. I hope this perp goes to jail for a long time and is raped daily.

All my best to your friend. I hope she finally gets closure and can free herself from the emotional torture of being victimized in such a horrific way. Thank God her husband is supportive.

Tuesday Girl said...

That is so scary. Did they ever find the guy that did that to her?

What a shame the police victimized her again. So very sad.

V-Grrrl said...

I grew up middle class with a typical white-bread suburban life. I've known more than five rape victims--all but one "knew" her attackers.

Andrea said...

A friend of my husband's, a male friend no less, was slipped something in a drink at a bar by, get this: a cop and bartender combo exacting a little revenge on my husband's friend for a silly HIGH SCHOOL rivalry, something that happened before they even graduated (some 10-20 YEARS before the drugging took place), before my hub's friend became a respiratory therapist and the cop became a cop.

The friend wasn't sexually assaulted or anything, but he tried to drive home and the cop put out an alert on his car. He was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence. He knew something was up because it was only one drink he had and when he left to go home, he was fine, and yet the drug kicked in while he was in the car. He nearly lost his license and his job. It was while he was at work the next morning that he had his own blood drawn and tested and they found Rohipnol. It's only because of this that he was able to fight it in court and win the DUI off his record, but he could never prove the cop or the bartender were the ones who did the drugging, though they are the only logical choices because the bartender is the only one who had access to his drink and the cop smarted off as my husband's friend was leaving, saying something like "Good luck getting home."

So it's mostly women in danger from this kind of thing, but not always. Anonymous, you are a brave woman and this is not your fault. I hope the slimeball who attacked you gets his just reward in prison when he becomes Bubba's girlfriend and is forced to squeal like a pig.

Hannah said...

Found this linked over at Mama Tulip's. If your friend is still reading these comments:

My heart goes out to you. I am so, so sorry that this horrible thing had to happen - and that you were victimized twice, when the cops treated you the way that they did. I hope that the thoughts and prayers of strangers can help lift you up. You are a brave woman and I applaud you for not only having the guts to report this in the first place, but the strength to try and get the cops investigated, too.

Peace be with you, and your wonderful husband too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who have offered their thoughts, prayers and support. I have goosebumps reading all of your thoughts, and I appreciate you letting me vent here. As the trial is probably at least a year away, I have to be very careful of putting my story out there, because his defense could use it against me. Sad but true. But when the investigation finally happened (after outraged letters from friends and family to the chief of police), they found 3 more victims, so there are 4 sexual assault charges against him - hopefully they will find his other victims by releasing his picture - check out the vancouver police department's "Daily Media Briefing Summaries" for 2007-09-19 - there you can get a good look at him - and maybe pass it on. Thanks everyone - and Meanie - I love you girl!

Anonymous said...

i've been following this -
here's the asshole....


KentuckyGal said...

This is awful. I'm so glad the police were finally forced to take action on this monster. Someone should slip something into his drink when he gets to prison and let him wake up as the girlfriend of another prisoner who is even bigger than he is. *sigh*

Your friend is a survivor. Sure it hasn't been an easy road, and will continue to be difficult, but it hasn't buckled her. Kudos also for her agreeing to share her story to forewarn others.

CDP said...

How horrible. I'm so glad the monster was caught and I hope that he's convicted and given the harshest possible sentence. I was raped 10 years ago by a man who broke into my house; I lived alone at the time and woke up with him on top of me with a knife at my throat. I was really fortunate in that the police were great and the guy was caught 2 days later. The bad news is that your friend probably has a rough year or so ahead of her. The good news is that a few years after it happened to me, entire days, and now weeks, go by without me even thinking about it. I hope that that's true for her (and it seems like she has great friends and a great husband, so odds are in her favor). Thanks to both of you for sharing this story.

theotherbear said...

That is truly horrible. I am so glad your friend's husband is being such a great supportive person over this, that must have been so very hard to tell him. I'm no longer surprised at how many people this has happened to that I know - several. Almost to me, once, but a friend took me home.

Rik said...

The broken nose should have been enough to show that it was NOT consensual.

Sometimes, I believe that it should be OK to murder people like this. Fortunately/unfortunately, it isn't.

michael M said...

the drug company's are at fault.
the alcohol company is at fault.
those who advocate married women drinking "with the girls" is at fault.
the fat guy may very well have been a cop.
people believe that having sex when you are not married are at fault.
the "friends" have probably a few women in them who also have had this happen.

Anonymous said...

Not sure exactly what you are trying to say here, michael m, but I'll tell you who is at fault. The rapist. The sick #$%# who thinks that drugging innocent women in order to rape them is fine. The only fault here lies at the feet of a sick, twisted individual (can't really say human).
He's a rapist. He's at fault.


It happened to me too, a similar scenario, though I wasn't beaten up, which is why I didn't go to the cops. Also because it was 1984 and they would've laughed.

I seriously applaud your courage, Meanie's Friend. I just read the post about Sgt Asshat (I love that word - Office Space, right?) and his dismissal from the assault squad - that is wonderful news.

Re: people wondering where your friends were - it's actually pretty easy for a guy (or two guys, in my case) to make it look like you're with them. Especially if they're bigger. I was with a big group of friends too, and they all assumed I was with other members of the group.