Date Rape Drug Problem In Guyana

The gruesome story of a Guyanese woman who was lured to a hotel in Georgetown only to wake up the next morning in an empty room with her genitals mutilated, caused members of the attentive group being told the sordid tale to cringe in disgust.

But it drove home the message that no one is safe from the terror of date rape drugs.

The increasing use of date rape drugs to prey on the innocent is a trend that Guyanese authorities are determined to stamp out.

Yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Al-Hack signalled it was an urgent matter to be tackled as she enlisted media workers to join the fight at a half-day sensitization workshop where she spoke frankly on the troubling issue.

“This thing is happening a lot in Guyana and I think it is not being advertised enough for the young people to know,” Demerawaves quoted her as saying.

“I have been seeing so many files like that, so I think we need to start sensitizing our young people and I have no doubt in my mind that this is happening to men, too, who are complainants – that they are being drugged by their potential offenders.”

So concerned is Al- Hack about the worrying incidents that she called for an effective public awareness campaign to educate citizens about the use of the date-rape substances, prohibited under the Sexual Offences Act.

According to experts, date rape drugs often used to assist a sexual assault are powerful and dangerous. The drugs have no colour, smell or taste, so it is hard to tell if you are being drugged. They leave victims weak and confused so that they are unable to refuse sex and defend themselves.

Recounting the tale of the violent attack of the woman, the DPP, who is responsible for determining whether suspects should be charged, lamented that it was not easy to bring perpetrators to justice.

She recalled that the victim who was taken to the hotel by her male companion could not recall who attacked her and the man claimed they had sex and he left her in the room.

Al-Hack remains seemingly uneasy about the case. She openly admitted that her “gut feeling” was that the man had put something in the woman’s drink but she no evidence to charge him.

However, she remains resolute that every effort must be made to put the problem to rest. The DPP stressed that educating people was key and advised the public to be on their guard.

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