Updated 30 November 2016

Do spiked drinks equal rape?

What would happen to you if your drink were genuinely spiked, and your friends were nowhere to be seen?


We have all heard of someone who claims their drink was spiked at some point or another. Luckily for many, they are surrounded by people they trust when they feel off-guard and friends quickly come to the rescue.

However, what would happen if your drink were genuinely spiked, and your friends were nowhere to be seen? This is what happened to Elanie Mulder in 2006 when she was 24 years of age.

Mulder had only been in Potchefstroom for two weeks when her drink was spiked and she was raped.

She was studying towards a BCOM and was starting her articles with an accounting company. She had just moved into student accommodation and was invited out by her house-mates.

It was to be her first night out since arriving in Potchefstroom.

During the evening the guy who stayed in the room next to Mulder’s brought a round of shooters and handed them out to everyone. “He gave me a strange look - I should have known, but I didn’t want to obsess over silly things,” Mulder explains. This is the last memory Mulder has of that night. She woke up the next morning on the couch in the student house, her clothes were changed and she felt disorientated.

No memory of what happened

She explains that she had vaginal bleeding, and there were bruises and bite marks all over her body. She had been raped, but couldn't remember anything about the incident.

Mulder says that at first she wasn't sure and so did not report the incident straight away. She also felt nauseous and dizzy the whole day. But the next day she “felt like something was scratching on my soul” and so she and a friend went to the police station to file a report.

At the police station Mulder says she was interrogated for four hours. “I felt as though I was the suspect and not the victim”. Once police had finished ‘interrogating’ her, she went to the hospital to get examined by a doctor. The doctors told Mulder that the drugs would be out her system by then and so no blood work was needed, but that they collected samples of semen and documented her bruising.

Don't accept drinks from just anyone

Mulder says after that she was visited twice a week by police to prepare her for court. “It was so humiliating. They ask you the most personal questions about your sex life”.  Mulder was informed that while police were interviewing her alleged rapist, he had admitted to sleeping with her, but explained that “she liked it rough”.

After a month of preparing for court, Mulder says that the police told her she had to drop the charges as they had lost all the evidence. The man who allegedly raped her was to walk away without even a slap on the wrist.

“If this were to ever happen to me again, I would not go to the police. It is so humiliating for a girl. In South Africa, you have to prove the guy is guilty, he does not have to prove his innocence”.

Four years later Mulder says that when and if she goes out, she drinks coke only and does not accept drinks form anyone, even if they are from her friend. “If I want to drink, I drink at home alone” she commented.

Mulder says that her story could help so many girls out there to be more cautious. She explained that so many girls believe that this sort of thing will never happen to them- But it does!

A matter of seconds

A 34-year-old woman from Cape Town told Health24 that she recently had her drink spiked as well. She explained that she went out with two friends, and when one of them was leaving she put her whiskey down for a few seconds to hug her goodbye.

She continued drinking once her friend had left, but after 20 minutes she “was finished”. Her legs and arms felt strange, and she says she felt nauseous. “It was the most terrifying thing,” she explained. She could see her other friend from across the bar, but couldn't open her mouth to call him. She decided to move to the bathroom in an attempt to make herself sick, but “this was the worst thing I could have done as I started to panic”. Eventually she called her friend who she had earlier said goodbye to and asked her to come back and fetch her. “Everything happened so quickly, I went from hero to zero within 20 minutes”.

Once at her house, a security guard had to help her inside, as she was no longer able to walk “I just collapsed”.
The next morning she called her doctor to explain what had happened to her. “My doctor asked me if I could taste almonds in my mouth and, when I replied yes, he told me that my drink had been spiked as the taste of almonds the next morning is a common symptom of a spiked drink”.

A chilling experiment

The following video shows just how vulnerable women are when they are drinking. A man goes out to prove just how easy it is to spike unsuspecting women’s drinks and then later takes his experiment to a whole new level.

He goes into a bar with an actress and starts talking to random guys telling them he is going to spike the women (the actress’s) drink. He is hoping to get a positive reaction from them, that they will help the women or call 911. However the reaction he gets is very different. The men, that were selected randomly, encourage him and asked if they could have “sloppy seconds”. They ask him where he got the drug from and if they could get hold of it. This video is a huge eye opener to woman and is a must watch for all!

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Drink spiking

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