real life

'I had my drink spiked on a night out. I have no idea what happened next.'

Standing beside the attractive man at the bar, I watched as the server lined up several shots of Tequila in front of him.

"Special occasion?" I asked, taking in his dark hair and muscled arms.

"Just a Friday night," he grinned. "Want one?"

"Why not?" I smiled back. 

As a single woman in a big city, it felt like a novelty to chat to a good-looking bloke in a bar, rather than on a dating app.

We clinked our glasses, and I knocked back the shot, feeling the warmth of it in my stomach almost immediately. We were both out with work colleagues, but *Dan and I kept finding each other again throughout the night. At the end of the evening, we kissed, swapped numbers, and agreed to go out on a date.

The plan was to meet up the following Saturday night. We both had arrangements with friends in the early part of the evening, but agreed to hook up later on for a few drinks.

Watch: One bar in Victoria came up with plans to prevent drink spiking. Post continues after video.

Video via ABC News.

My plans ended earlier than expected. The couple I was having dinner with got into an argument and made their excuses as soon as we had paid the bill. I was at a loose end, hours before Dan and I were due to meet. 

Not wanting to go all the way home and back out again, I sent him a text.

"Any chance you'd be free a bit earlier?" I typed. "My mates just bailed."

"I'm still with my friends," he replied. "But come and meet us."

I hopped into a taxi and headed to the bar they were in.

When I arrived, Dan greeted me with a hug and kiss. But his friends were far less friendly. Instantly, I felt unwelcome and uncomfortable. 

"I'm sorry," Dan said in a low voice as we waited at the bar together. "I thought they'd be cool with it, but they're saying they wanted a boys' night out."

With hindsight, I should have left then. I wasn't welcome and now even Dan seemed frosty. 

But, young, tipsy and not wanting my night ruined, I said: "Don't worry, I'm sure I can charm them."

The guys did warm up to me but there was still an uncomfortable atmosphere that I resolutely ignored. We were all sitting at a table right by the entrance, so throughout the evening, would leave our drinks on the table while we popped outside to smoke.

It was after one of those ciggie breaks, at around midnight, that my memory goes completely black. 


The next thing I remember is finding myself at the bar with two of Dan's friends; Dan nowhere in sight.

"Where's Dan?" I asked them, confused.

They looked at me like I was mad.

"Dan left," one of them said. "Hours ago."

I fumbled in my bag for my phone; I had no missed calls or messages from him telling me where he was.

I was also shocked to see the display said it was 4am.

Where the hell had the last four hours gone? And why had Dan just left me here with his friends?

I'd had two glasses of wine at dinner, and two vodka sodas at the bar - hardly excessive after a three course dinner and several hours of socialising.

Even when I did drink a lot, I was never someone who blacked out; certainly never someone who lost hours of a night.

As I stood there in confusion, it suddenly occurred to me just how many times I had left my drink unattended when we went out to smoke. At least two or three times I could recall.

That, coupled with the fact that I'd faced such a hostile reception from Dan and his friends, made me wonder, had they spiked my drink

I began to wonder even less as his two friends moved closer to me, one on either side. They put their arms around me, one of them stroking my waist, his hand eventually snaking its way down to my bum.


"We're going to an all-night club," he leered. "Come with us... it'll be fun."

Suddenly, I felt frightened. 

"I'm going home," I said, pulling away in disgust. 

I could hear their cruel laughter as I stumbled towards the exit.

Out on the street, I was unable to walk in a straight line. This was not the drunken sway of someone who'd had one too many; it was like I was trying to control a body that didn't belong to me. My thinking was absolutely crystal clear by now, but my limbs were like spaghetti. 

The first cab I flagged refused to take me. Thankfully, the second one let me in, and soon, somehow I got upstairs to my apartment and collapsed on the bed, fully clothed.

The next morning, I woke up, confused, angry and upset. 

I grabbed my phone, calling Dan on a withheld number. When he answered, I said: "What the hell happened last night?"

The moment he heard my voice, he hung up.

And that told me everything I needed to know.

This experience happened many years ago, but I still think about it often, especially with the recent increase in drink spiking in Sydney, where I now live. I wonder what happened in those lost hours and I thank my lucky stars I made it home in one piece, albeit with a traumatic memory - or lack thereof - that's still hard to shake.


Listen: The Quicky speaks to an expert in spiking and a young woman who was a victim of this despicable crime to find out how concerned we should be. Post continues after video.

I'm older and wiser now, I'd never leave my drink unattended, not even for a second.

But it's easily done and women shouldn't have to worry about this when they're just trying to enjoy a night out and make it home safely. 

I saw Dan, years later, across a crowded bar after work one evening. I looked directly at him but there wasn't a flicker of recognition on his face as we locked eyes. It was like he'd never seen me before, like I didn't exist or matter one bit.

And I guess to him, I really didn't. 

*Name has been changed.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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