Only in your Nightmares
By Marylaine Louise L. Viernes
Every girl has a picture of her own prince charming, and every once in a while, girls try to make that dream into reality. The idea of a pre-set blind date is able to spark excitement among female teenagers, because she might very well end up with the right one. But unfortunately, such is almost always not the case. In fact, most girls end up risking and losing their lives and the future that lies ahead of them.
Two years back, I was able to meet a girl who used to be part of our school organization. She was nice and active like any normal girl. But one incident changed her life forever. She was raped. And not just by anyone but by someone she trusted. Such is a very traumatic and painful experience not only for the victim, but also for the people around her. Incidents like these are no longer uncommon and so it is best to always be prepared. The first step to being able to avoid these things is to be knowledgeable about date rape.
Date rape includes, but is not limited to, inappropriate touching, vaginal penetration, sexual intercourse, rape, and attempted rape. It is most commonly done by slipping drugs into the food and drinks of the victims. These drugs in turn cause the victims to become physically helpless, unable to refuse sex, and more often than not forget what has happened. There are at least three date rape drugs: GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid) can come in three different forms: in a colorless and odorless liquid, a white powder or a pill. It can cause relaxation, drowsiness, nausea, slow down heart rate and induce a dream-like state, leading to coma and/or death. Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) is a pill that dissolves in liquids. This drug prevents the victim from remembering what happened, also causing loss of muscle control, sleepiness, confusion, and visual problems among others. Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) on the other hand, is a white powder that causes time and identity disorientation, hallucinations, impaired motor functions and convulsions.
These drugs are able to affect the victim quickly, but the effects of the drugs vary, depending on the intake or whether it has been mixed with other substances like alcohol. Alcohol can worsen the drug's effects and can cause even more health problems. But being "safe" doesn't necessarily mean being locked up forever! Just be responsible for your actions and remember these pieces of advice:
- Do not share drinks and don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange.
- Follow your curfew and if possible, always come in groups. Never let yourself be alone with someone even if you think he can be trusted.
- Finally, if you think you've already been drugged and/or raped, go to the nearest police station or hospital immediately. Try to avoid urinating until you get medical or police assistance.
Remember girls, that it is important to strike a balance between being safe and having fun. Don't let date-rape drugs get to you; stay informed and vigilant. As cliché as it may sound, it's ultimately always best to "be safe than sorry."