Stopping rampant sexual assault in Seattle’s nightclubs

July 18, 2016 | 10 Comments | Life

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I’m getting really, really tired of hearing 1st- and 2nd-hand reports of ladies in our Seattle music community narrowly escaping (or not) sexual assault perpetrated within the clubs we all frequent. As someone who has been drugged 3 times while keeping very careful control of her drink, I can tell you that, in a public bar/club environment, there is no way to protect yourself 100% against being drugged. Someone determined to get something into your drink will find a way, cover or no cover, in your hand or on the table. Until Drinksavvy’s landmark products are released to the public, the only true protection we have is each other.

It is the responsibility of the entire community to be observant of the venue as a whole, not just the people we came with, our friends or that hot dancer you’re crushin’ on.

 

ONE: Alert, don’t accuse

If you see someone acting strange, keep an eye on them. Mention to others to keep an eye on them as well and give security a heads up. By no means does this mean telling everyone they are up to something or (god forbid) is guilty of something. It’s very important to understand this distinction; some people are just naturally uncomfortable in social environments and the added anxiety of the whole club suddenly singling them out may just make matters worse. Or they could just be having a bad day. It happens. Unless you see them put something in a drink, become a little too familiar with someone who doesn’t seem to be fully coherent or try to remove someone from the group they came with, don’t accuse. Just alert. Security is trained to handle situations like these, but they can’t be everywhere at once, and predators are pretty good at avoiding their attention. So tap one on the shoulder and say “That person over there has been behaving a little strange by doing [insert behavior here]. I haven’t seen them do anything, but there’s something that doesn’t seem right and you may want to keep an eye on them.” Be sure to let them know you haven’t seen any rules broken and be honest about not knowing exactly what—if anything—they are up to. With all the violence recently, odd behavior could be anything, so don’t pre-bias security thereby inhibiting their ability to gauge danger by framing their investigation in a certain way.

 

TWO: Don’t be presumptuous

Reserve judgment on overly-intoxicated people for the following morning. I’ve got quite a few stories where someone was socially ignored and/or shunned when they started getting embarrassingly out of control. Hell, we all can recall a time this happened to someone we knew… or… um… ourselves. Everyone else views them as being wasted or too drunk. Don’t assume this is the case. I had an ex-boyfriend literally hang up on me when I called and asked for help after being drugged at a gig. Despite me attempting to say “help, drugged,” he presumed I was so drunk I couldn’t talk. I spent the little control of my fingers I had left making that call, and with it’s end was left about 90% paralyzed, half-hanging out of the driver’s side door of my car.  Completely helpless, unable to move my body or enunciate words however still acutely aware of my surroundings… or put another way: a sitting duck for my attacker. Don’t be the dick that puts someone else in this situation. Don’t assume.

Investigate. Ask questions. Figure out what they’ve chosen to ingest that day and do the math before passing judgment. That girl in the corner looking like a pile of tranquilized goo? Might not be alcohol. Make sure she’s protected since all of the usual date-rape drugs will leave her unable to physically (and sometimes verbally) defend herself. Check to see if anyone is looking out for them. If not, get someone formally associated with the event you’re at: the promoter, the bartender or a bouncer.

Security is in the house for a reason. If someone appears too intoxicated, they could be (making it dangerous for themselves and the venue) or they could be drugged (making it extremely dangerous for themselves and the venue). So let ’em know, and their friends too, should they have any floating around.

 

THREE: Brand the bastards

If you know someone to be a confirmed sex offender (no witch hunts here, people) let the community know. Let promoters know. They will inform club owners and security will deny entry into their establishments. Or if you’re in Seattle, tell me. I will pass the information along to a handful of community leaders managing a sex crime prevention program. One created specifically for (and by) the Seattle club scene. They have the tools and skill to investigate accusations, confirm or acquit them, then circulate the identities of offenders found to be guilty and assist in legal action.

 

FOUR: Bitches get stitches

I leave you all with a very serious, heavy-handed warning. To falsely accuse someone of sexual assault is worse than committing the crime itself. If anyone is found to guilty of this particular form of slander, the community will come down on you with the full weight of the law. It will not be pretty. So ladies: don’t be petty and vindictive. If some jerk does you wrong, be a grown-up about it and walk away. Or be dramatic and throw your drink in his face. Whatever. Just don’t go psycho & drag us all through unnecessary drama (only to get yourself blackballed from the scene) mmkay? If you cheated on your man and he finds out, don’t yell “rape” because you’re too chicken shit to admit you made a mistake. The truth eventually comes out and it’s not just you and the poor sap you slept with that suffers—its every woman who is legitimately attacked that suffers. False accusations are the reason why sexual assault reports are still often met with resistance or flat-out denial. So show some solidarity with your fellow females and don’t screw us over. Same goes for you jealous or vindictive guys. You’re less common, but still just as much to blame. Grow a pair and don’t be a dick. The person you want to hurt is often not the one who ends up being hurt.

 

*dusts off hands*

 

Okay, well that’s the end of that. If anyone has something to add, please do so in the comments. This is a very serious issue that affects us all. None are absolved of responsibility. Be alert. Be vigilant. Be compassionate and don’t rush to judgment. If we all are able to do that, our community can be safe again.


10 Comments

  1. Posted by GG Smith on

    “To falsely accuse someone of sexual assault is worse than committing the crime itself.”

    NO.

    The entire last paragraph, “Bitches get Stitches”, (wow) implies that women make up assault stories all the time to “create drama” or “get back at their shitty ex boyfriend”. This is not true. And to perpetuate that myth is dismissive, silencing and dangerous. Check your internalized misogyny.

    Believe womxn.

    • Posted by Kristina Childs on

      I do believe, woman. This post exemplifies that fact.

      Sexual assault is one of the worst crimes a person can commit. And yes, falsely accusing someone of it is worse. Because not only is the accuser condemning an innocent person of a heinous crime that will most likely destroy their present and future lives, they also (if you read the words rather than reacting to them) hurt every single woman in our society who is legitimately attacked. It’s because some ladies have been found to be slanderers or truth-stretchers that some in positions of authority still show resistance to prosecute on behalf of actual victims. This is not a myth. THIS is the truly silencing and dangerous issue:

      False accusations are the reason why sexual assault reports are still often met with resistance or flat-out denial. So show some solidarity with your fellow females and don’t screw us over.

      Nowhere in this post do I imply all women do this. You inferred that based on (I assume) your personal experience… I’m guessing either as a false or legitimate victim. If you were attacked, my heart bleeds with you. I have fallen victim to sexual assault myself four times over the course of my life. I understand how painful and damaging it is better than most. I was either unable or unwilling to report all four for various reasons, and it took years of personal growth and therapy to even recognize the the last one as rape. Because it was someone I knew and trusted, I illogically tried to protect my abuser which only prolonged the abuse and damage to my psyche.

      I also have a handful of guy friends who have been falsely accused and witnessed the destruction and chaos it caused. One of them in particular is VERY lucky that (while serving time in prison as a rapist for a rape he didn’t commit) he himself wasn’t raped and/or killed by the inmates. Any ex-con will tell you this is a common occurrence.

      So you see, I don’t have internalized misogyny, I have first-hand experience and every right to declare slander of rape a worse crime than rape. I suggest you take your own advice, check your reflexes and brush up on reading comprehension before over-extending anonymous attacks on the internet.

      [note: I don’t view anyone who doesn’t proudly stand behind their words as credible Miss “GG” at nope@gmail.com. Passive-aggressive drive-by insults may work on reddit, honey, but not here.

      Sincerely,
      Kristina Childs]

  2. Posted by Edward on

    Your post gave me hope! We can be better humans!

  3. Posted by Katy Brown on

    Very well stated. One comment: I believe it’s important to not rely just on DIY activism. Many may have experience but not the training necessary to be a true victim advocate. As someone who has also experienced being drugged and an assault, I wish I had had the foresight to contact the authorities, so that if the perp tried victimizing another person, there would be an official record on file that would speak to the validity of future claims. There are so many resources for victims and they need to be utilized to ensure their continued funding. Bottom line, the community can and should police itself but it should do so in tandem with the agencies that can provide legal guidance, mental health support, and penalties for criminals.

    • Posted by Kristina Childs on

      agreed whole-heartedly. i supposed i left that part out of this post, assuming that once security was alerted they would choose to escalate to police if they could. many times, though, especially when preventing attack, the perp is never revealed because they don’t have a chance to act on the drugged victim. that’s really the goal of this post; to openly discuss and educate each other, ensuring predators never have an opportunity to take advantage of would-be victims.

      i also don’t include any information on what to do if you weren’t so lucky. i didn’t report anything because i had no recollection of the event so couldn’t even if i wanted to. all i have to go on are the accounts of my friends, my behavior and the specific kind of pain my body was in the next day 🙁

      if someone wants to get information to me i’ll happily append it to this post.

  4. Posted by Nickole on

    Great words of advice! It takes all of us looking out for each other!

    • Posted by Kristina Childs on

      that’s a serious-looking dude!

  5. Posted by Erika Frank on

    Thank You, couldn’t have said it any better!! 🙂

  6. Posted by Jamie on

    I LOVE THIS!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *