Alleged Drink Tampering At Michigan Bar, Why It’s A Scary Reality
When it comes to us women, our safety feels like it is at stake pretty much everywhere we go. However, for some of us, we don't let that stop us from going out on the town and enjoying ourselves...we just have to "be prepared."
For me, like many women, conversations about staying safe in public started young. It started as "don't talk to strangers" then moved on to "always stay alert" then moved to "if you feel unsafe, tell someone."
Then, as I got older and could watch movies where the characters go to parties, bars, etc. I saw people putting something in another's drink and what followed usually wasn't good.
That's when the conversations around "never leave your drink unattended" came about. I thought that was it. Just have your drink on you at all times and if you turn your back on it for a second, just get a new one.
However, going to the bar is like going into battle for many women AND men. There are countless ways someone can get something into your drink even with it in your hand and it's terrifying.
I bring this up because, chances are, we've all heard horror stories from friends or experienced this situation ourselves but now MLive is reporting a TikTok posted by a young woman has gone viral where she says she and 14 other women all claim they were drugged the same night at the same bar in Kalamazoo.
Not only is this terrifying but in the video (which we along with other outlets have elected not to share for privacy concerns) but according to MLive, she said she and her friends tested positive for opiates and tranquilizers the next morning...so much so the doctor told her she "should have died."
MLive says the video has since prompted an investigation by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, a change.org petition, a protest, and more women to come forward with their experiences. I think it is also prompting more conversation and making sure bars and the people who own them are held accountable for dealing with these things.
I understand bars can't control what every single person who visits; however, there are ways they can be accommodating to protecting those who are not out to drug others.
There are actually some bars I have seen that have signs in their women's bathrooms that have what they call "angel shots" where depending on what kind of shot you ask for at the bar, that lets them know the level of danger you might be in or what kind of help you need. Excuse the title, (while accurate it may be strong language for some) but here's how it works:
While the system can vary from bar to bar, the sentiment is the same. A safe, discreet way to help and protect those who need it.
There have been countless inventions from nail polish that changes color if you dip your finger in and your drink has been tampered with to test strips to "Cup Condoms":
The real conversation that needs to be had here is one that has been needing to happen around a lot of things when it comes to sexual assault, safety, etc. and that is why do women, most specifically, need so many "tools" to protect ourselves?
Too many women I know, myself included, carry pepper spray, tasers, self-defense keychains with various methods of protection, one girl I know even carries brass frickin' knuckles. We're told not to wear our hair in ponytails because they're too easy to grab. We put our keys between our knuckles like Wolverine when walking to our cars. Now, we go out to bars and we have to either be equipped with science experiments or something to cover our drinks.
Why can't people just have fun without worrying about being attacked? This goes for women, men, BIPOC, AAPI, LGBTQ+ and any other marginalized communities. We should all be able to go have a drink without worrying about someone slipping us something that either takes away security and safety or could actually kill us.
If you are still reading this, if you see something SAY SOMETHING! I swear if you DO NOT say something either to stop the person, stop the person being drugged from drinking the drink or not letting someone know, you are part of the problem and deserve to be throat punched.
While safety is still something we have a long way to go, here's a look at all the other incredible things women have accomplished:
LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born
And here are some signature drinks from around the U.S. that you can make from home and avoid the creeps out there:
What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?