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Montreal woman calls for change after allegedly being drugged at Osheaga

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Drugged at Osheaga? Montreal woman calls for change
WATCH ABOVE: A Montreal woman who claims she was given a date rape drug at Osheaga earlier this summer is calling on change and action from Evenko and the City of Montreal. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports – Sep 28, 2016

After she was allegedly drugged at Osheaga, Melanie Maxine Doucet is meeting Isabelle Arcelin for the second time.

According to Doucet, Arcelin was one of the few people who helped her as she stumbled to safety.

“When I first saw her, for a quarter second, I thought she was disabled because her body was all crooked, the way she was walking,” said Arcelin.

Instead, Doucet said she’s sure someone slipped her a drug.

READ MORE: Evenko investigates after Montrealer claims she was drugged at Osheaga

She insisted it all happened at this summer’s Osheaga festival.

“I realized right away what was happening to me because I went from being totally fine to not be fine at all and losing function and control of my body and of my speech,” said Doucet.

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Although Doucet made it home safely that day, she doesn’t recall how.

The most disturbing part, she said, is the fact that witnesses, like Arcelin, later told her they were the only ones around to help.

“They said they tried to find medics, or security or even a beer vendor to try to help and there was no help,” Doucet said.

“They couldn’t find anybody.”

The 36-year-old said she couldn’t accept the fact that this could happen to other women, so she decided to take action.

She sent a complaint letter to Evenko, the organizer of Osheaga, to offer suggestions on how they could prevent similar incidents, but she said the response wasn’t good enough.

“The person couldn’t commit anything to me and basically said they would bring forward the letter to their planning committee next spring,” she said.

The McGill PhD student decided to take matters into her own hands.

She found a Montreal law firm who offered her pro bono legal advice.

With their help, Doucet created a petition, which will be presented to city council next month.

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Though Doucet wasn’t sexually assaulted, she wants the city to create programs to protect people from possible sexual violence at all music festivals.

“We want the city to integrate into their event permit process, so that when any organizer, whether its Evenko or any other organizer, goes through the process, they have to include these measures in their event,” said Molly Krishtalka from Renno & Vathilakis Inc.

Global News reached out to Evenko but has yet to receive a response.

In a statement, a city of Montreal spokesperson said: “The city of Montreal is a cultural metropolis with a wide range of events. There are numerous interesting elements raised in this petition. We are open to exploring these suggestions with our partners.”

“I feel the city really needs to step up to the plate and join this conversation and this movement of consent, awareness and prevention,” Doucet said.

Meanwhile, she hopes she’ll help create change through her petition, but if it doesn’t, she said she may consider filing a lawsuit.

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