The Courier Mail
By Michelle Hele, April 18 2002
Schoolgirls raped by drink-drug
THREE schoolgirls have been drugged and raped in Cairns
in the past three weeks as increasing numbers of women
are having their drinks spiked.
Fair Trading Minister Merri Rose told State Parliament
yesterday she was working with her department's liquor-licensing
division to increase public awareness of the dangers
of leaving drinks unattended.
"Sexual assault counselling services tell us drink
spiking is on the increase," she said, giving as
an example the Gold Coast Sexual Assault clinic which
handles between eight and 18 cases a month.
"But many of them go unreported as victims have
no memory of what happened or they are too embarrassed
Ms Rose said one counsellor at the Cairns Sexual Assault
Centre dealt with three cases of drug-facilitated rape
of three schoolgirls in the past six weeks. The youngest
"They girls met young men, went to a party, had
their drinks spiked and were raped," she said.
The three rapes were not reported to police.
Ms Rose said the majority of drink spiking seemed to
happen in highly crowded venues and at premises open
beyond midnight and offering nightclub entertainment.
"Drink spiking is a serious and escalating problem,"
"The Government has formulated a long-term inter-agency
response to this disturbing trend."
A state-wide awareness campaign will begin before the
end of the month in licensed premises.
Its effectiveness will be assessed after three months.
Ms Rose warned women not to leave their drinks unattended,
not to let strangers buy them drinks and to take their
own drinks to parties.
Crime Stoppers officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Michael
Volk, pictured, agreed drink spiking was on the increase.
"It is not uncommon," he said.
He said that almost every night in the Brisbane metropolitan
area at least one woman would present herself to hospital
or a sexual assault service in relation to having had
her drink drugged.
Snr Sgt Volk said the problem appeared to becoming
more widespread for a number of reasons, including that
a larger variety of drugs was now available to commit
He said anything from prescription medications such
as sleeping pills to illegal drugs such as ecstasy were
Snr Sgt Volk said research indicated offenders had
met victims previously in 70 per cent of sex assault
cases involving spiked drinks.
"You are not looking at Mr Nobody who you have
never met before," he said.
"The only people you can trust are your very closest
The Queensland Police Service has set up a database
and people can ring Crime Stoppers to give them information
on anyone they suspect might be involved in spiking
Snr Sgt Volk said this could help police investigate
future cases of sexual assault or rape.
© Queensland Newspapers