CASE STUDY: Saskia in York
We’ve all done it: had too much to drink, made a fool of ourselves, done things we’ve felt utterly mortified about the next day. But usually, it’s soon all forgotten. After all, another week soon passes, another weekend looms up again suddenly, and the next thing you know, it’s time to, well, go drinking again.
But alcohol-fuelled behaviour can change some people’s lives for ever.
Saskia – a former apprentice goldsmith in York – was one such person
In January last year, Saskia went out for an evening with the girls (their regular Saturday night drink up), and something happened that resulted in her leaving the country a year later: emigrating to Australia to begin a new life, as best she could.
“Despite what my family, friends, my counsellor, and the police said, what happened to me was ultimately my fault,” Saskia explains. “I am not saying that I invited the rape, but my promiscuous behaviour when drunk had become the talk of the pubs around York – in Skelton, Towthorpe, Earswick and Haxby. After a few drinks, I was anybody’s, as the saying goes. One night it all came to a head; I had the misfortune to meet a monster. He raped me in his car.”
Parents can be oblivious
Seeing your daughter reach the age where she can legally purchase alcohol can be a worrying time for parents, as Saskia’s father, Milo, explains. “My wife Cate and I knew about Saskia’s heavy drinking but felt powerless to do anything about it. I mean, what parent can keep a close eye on their daughter around the clock?”
Milo and Cate knew nothing of Saskia’s promiscuous behaviour, though; which she only displayed when drunk.
“What we were not aware of was how Saskia behaved after she’d had a few drinks,” explains Cate. “It was only in court that we learned about that. And, if I am honest, I was appalled by it. But that doesn’t mean Saskia deserved what happened to her. No one deserves that. Her attacker was given an eight-year prison sentence, but Saskia’s sentence is for life.”
Alcohol and sex – more about the risks
Despite Saskia blaming herself, no one ‘asks’ to be raped. Being raped is never the victim’s fault; and what happened to Saskia might have occurred if she had been sober. She is adamant that her drink-fuelled promiscuous behaviour was “the reason” for her being singled out (her mates – who’d only had one alcoholic drink each on the night – were not targeted), but statistics show that women who drink are not necessarily more vulnerable to sexual assault or rape.
Note: What stats do show is that drinking to excess can make it more likely that a woman will have unprotected sex (increasing the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant)
About Saskia’s new life
“Since moving to Brisbane I’ve started a whole new life. Before emigrating I spent time at a residential Rehab Treatment Centre in the north of England, which resulted in me considerably reducing my alcohol consumption level. Now, when I go out with my new-found friends, I only have a glass or two of white wine.”
“My advice to any woman who is struggling with alcohol abuse and wants to do something about it is to simply contact Rehab Treatment UK. Making that initial phone call could be the first step for them on a journey towards a whole new life, one where they can feel much better about themselves, which I certainly do now.”