Date Rape Drug Awareness

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 6 months ago

It’s not something that happens just on college campuses or to certain types of people.

“There’s not a particular place I can say don’t go to or something to smell in your drink or see in your drink or a particular kind of person. It’s a horrible experience, and unfortunately, we see it quite a bit,” said Rape Response Services Advocate Gretchen Ziemer.

Someone who believed they were drugged this weekend sent this statement to TV5 Reporter Caitlin Burchill:

“It was the scariest feeling I’ve ever had. I remember how I felt before the time frame of my last memory. I was having fun, dancing, seeing friends that I hadn’t seen for a while, taking pictures of all the great costumes and then all of a sudden I have no memory of 10 whole hours of my life. Hearing stories of myself laying on the ground, not being able to move, eyes moving, trying to yell with a strength-less voice that had no words. It’s scary.”

Ziemer says these are definitely the signs.

“Most definitely. It’s really this loss of time and loss of knowledge of what happened and as humans we want to be in control of ourselves even if we’ve been drinking or drinking to excess,” she said.

She says be aware of your surroundings.

“Watch the drink being made. If it comes from a bottle or a can, you open it yourself. If you have to step away from the drink, I wouldn’t ask anyone to watch it because they can be distracted as well. Keep it with you at all times or get rid of it and get a new drink,” said Ziemer.

Especially in places you are comfortable.

“It’s really about acquaintance, so it’s not that it necessarily has to be your friend or a good friend. It’s really a friend of someone else or someone who meets you somewhere. This is an acquaintance type situation, so it can easily happen in a bar restaurant situation,” she said.

If this happens to you, contact them or your local police department and get to a hospital as soon as possible.

“Because if you’ve lost that amount of time, who knows what could have happened and if you’ve been sexually assaulted, it’s really important to go to the ED. We’ll come, one of us will come as an advocate, and we can do something called a forensic kit if you’d like,” said Ziemer.

And she says, remember, it’s not your fault.

“I just want them to know that they’re not alone and that I want them to not feel guilty about this. This was not their fault. They did not go out looking for something like this to happen. Somebody did this to them,” said Ziemer.

For more information go to the Rape Response Services website.

For confidential help dial their 24-hour hotline: 1-800-310-0000

The statewide number is 1-800-871-7741 for people living outside Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties, or you can always contact your local police department.


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