Publisher | From the cup to sexual assault

A phenomenon like chemical submission used as a tool to reach sexual assault It has been surrounded by doubts, blaming prejudices, urban legends and lack of information. The scarcity of data on sexual violence in the specific field of nightlife and the difficulty of detecting in an analysis the presence after a few hours of substances such as the so-called burundanga It makes it even more difficult to clarify the dimension of the phenomenon, as if the difficulty posed by the high percentage of women who (fortunately less and less) do not report their aggressors out of fear or due to social pressure were not enough.

Within the framework of the plan to combat sexual violence in nightlife during this post-pandemic summer (and given the police perception that it has not stopped increasing in recent years, with the sole exception of periods of confinement and mobility restrictions ), the Catalan police have offered objective data, although based solely on the testimony of the victims and without toxicological evidence: 288 women have reported in the last year and a half having been victims of sexual abuse or assault while in a situation of vulnerability due to the influence of alcohol or drugs, and of these 167 affirm that someone put a substance in drink to numb them.

The most retrograde speeches, which have been expressed in an increasingly impudent way not only on the networks but even in parliament, cast a shadow of guilt over women who have seen their sexual freedom violated in such conditions, or of doubt about their testimonies, especially when it comes to ensuring that some chemical substance has been used to limit their ability to react. The same ones who have mocked the motto “alone and drunk I want to get home” used by the Minister of Equality, Irene Monteroare those who have voted against the new comprehensive protection law against sexual violencewhich when it enters into force will finally include the demand that chemical submission be considered a sufficient aggravating circumstance to establish that what until now could be classified as abuse, because there was no use of violence, be classified as sexual assault.

In this sense, it is not enough to promotion of self-protection measures, such as the offer, by the clubs that have decided to implement a series of criteria to protect the sexual freedom of their clients, of glasses with lids to prevent the introduction of sedative substances. Again, the focus is placed on surveillance by the victim, when it should be placed on the figure of the aggressor. Nor does it matter if the suspicion that a drug has been surreptitiously used is unfounded and the victim was alone under the influence of alcohol: such an aggressor is he who takes advantage of the drunken state of another person, who encourages him to come to him or who supplies another type of substance, and she is as much a victim in one case as in another. Because, as was recalled in a conference on this type of aggression that was recently held in Pamplona, ​​alcohol continues to be the main instrument of rape with chemical submission. And the conditions do not matter, just a yes, and pronounced by someone in a position to maintain their ability to make autonomous decisions, is a yes. Regardless of any other type of factors: none can relativize the violence that a sexual assault entails.

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