This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
It was a sweaty Tuesday night in Dubrovnik at the conclusion of another hungover day at sea aboard the Andela Lora. This is the shining, glorious, enviable European summer. Climbing the city walls, swimming off the jagged cliff face, gelato and an afternoon glass of wine for Arianne’s birthday. Europe in July is the sloppy rite of passage for young Australians, who make their annual pilgrimage to the continent as soon as the first semester exams are over.
Deep within the city's walls, Revelin is the infamous club in the fortress, in which aged DJs relive their glory days and take up residency for partying holidaymakers over the summer months. As troupes of tourists, predominantly Aussies, enter the nightclub several drinks deep, the insidious potential for trauma amongst the mayhem is worlds away. Ritualised drinking and rounds of shots gives the perfect platform for a heaving dancefloor in which foreigners and locals alike move their bodies in worship of Fat Boy Slim.
Partygoers pushed up, sweaty against each other, pushing through crowds with disregard for anything between them and the bar.
Watch Grace Tame on the power of abuse survivors' stories. Post continues after video.
“Seriously,” said Amanda, as we pushed closer to the bar.
“You’ve got to watch out for some of these guys,” she glared.
Her words rang in the back of our heads as we weaved through the club, in search of an empty spot to dance. The eyes of my single girlfriends intermittently scanned the dancefloor for potential matches for the evening. Across the bar, a pack of Australian men were buying rounds of Jagerbombs.
“You’re actually really pretty,” he said.
He was tall, tanned, and Australian. He was older and from Adelaide. After chatting for a while, what any normal modern courtship would do, the conversation moved to the dancefloor. Surrounded by friends the music pulsed.