Fort Erie author hopes to raise awareness about date rape drugs in Niagara

After reading posts on social media from a local mother about the disturbing use of date rape drugs at Sherkston Shores over Canada Day long weekend, Carly Brown knew she had to act.

Brown, a local author, is advocating for local women and girls to be vigilant.

“I was scared for the young women that live around here,” said Brown to Fort Erie Radio.

“My message to local girls and women is that your personal safety should be your number one concern when you leave your home,” she said. “That the simple act of accepting a drink that you didn’t see poured could have dangerous and deadly consequences.”

Noting that she has been drugged herself at a nightclub in California, Brown added, “Our young people should be armed with the knowledge that date rape drugs are easily hidden in a drink and almost impossible to detect.”

Her best advice for young women and girls is:

  • If a situation or person seems off, you should leave.
  • Don’t go out alone; stick together with your friends.
  • Don’t put your drink down anywhere. If you do, don’t go back for it.
  • Don’t accept a drink from a stranger, especially if you did not see where it came from.

“Date rape drugs are powerful sedatives. They are colourless, odourless and tasteless,” explained Brown. “The effects are almost instantaneous, and they are in your system for eight to 12 hours. You are rendered virtually helpless as you try to navigate your surroundings.”

She said she felt compelled to act based on her own experience and the years she spent researching date rape drugs and sexual violence for her books.

“I wasn’t a 16-year-old girl partying at a local beach with friends. I was a 22-year-old university student and had been a cocktail waitress working in bars for years. I considered myself street-smart and sophisticated, but they still got me.”

Credit: Carly Brown | Instagram

Brown’s book, ‘The Celine Bower Story’, is about “a woman that gets drugged, kidnapped and gang-raped. She gets revenge on her attackers and is considered a superhero in her town. But her vengeance comes at a price.”

Her book is available online or at Lakeside Books & Art (341 Ridge Rd. N) and her website is thecelinebowerstory.com.

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