Spike in date rape drug cases in southeast Saskatchewan

REGINA – After a server at the Derrick Motor Hotel bar in Estevan, Sask. was drugged, owner Regina Rooks is taking precautions against date rape drugs by encouraging customers to drink from cups with lids.

“I can’t believe that a guy needs a date that bad, that he needs to do something like this. Somebody must be very desperate to do something like this,” said Rooks.

According to Envision Counselling and Support Centre, the number of date rape drug cases in Estevan, Weyburn and Carlyle have jumped more than 150 per cent between 2008 and 2012.

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But that number is likely only the tip of the iceberg, since many assault victims don’t take their case to police.

“We know nation-wide, reporting is less than 10 per cent,”said Dianna Graves, with Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan.

“So not many victims come forward because of a lot of reasons: a lot of people self-blame; they say, ‘Oh i was at the bar, I was drunk, I should have known better.’ Or, ‘I don’t want to go to the police because nobody is going to believe me.”

The coordinator at the University of Regina’s women’s centre says that’s because not enough onus is put on the perpetrator.

“It’s our firm belief that we need to be changing the climate of our culture. We shouldn’t be teaching girls not to get raped. We should be teaching boys not to rape,” said Jill Arnott, executive director of the U of R women’s centre.

But even victims who do come forward, don’t always find justice. Regina police say it’s hard to make the connection between someone who was drugged and sexually assaulted.

The most common drugs used for date rape are GHB, ketamine, and rohypnol. All of which are nearly impossible to detect, even after consumption.

“So after even a night or well into the morning of sleeping off what they equate is a hangover, the drug has already begun to leave the system. So by the time they seek medical attention, nothing is coming back,” said Cpl. Shannon Gordon, with Regina police.

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