Fullerton police are investigating an alleged rape that happened on August 1, in downtown. Samantha Velasquez said she had been dancing at JP23 Urban Kitchen and accepted a drink from two women who said a man had bought the drink for them. The next thing she remembered – she was waking up alone in a parking structure near the Metro station in downtown Fullerton. She believed she had been drugged and assaulted. Her mother urged her to get a rape kit and she also reported the incident to Fullerton police. Surveillance cameras show that she was stumbling as she left the night club with a man and was joined by several other people.
Due to the reports of this rape by ABC, FoxLA, and many social media platforms women have begun to share their stories and a group has formed to make people aware of these incidents. The group has organized a protest that will take place on the corner of Commonwealth Ave and Harbor Blvd on Sunday, August 8 at 6:30 pm.
Such crimes are not rare. FBI statistics for 2019 (the most recently reported year) show Fullerton had 80 reported rapes. However, 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).
The NSVRC which researches sexual assault and provides resources for victims says roughly 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men, are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. In 8 out of 10 cases of rape the victim knows the person who assaulted them. The organization’s website presents helpful information on what to do if you become a victim as well as guidelines that may help prevent such crimes.
There are three drugs commonly used in what is often referred to as “date rape.” The drugs can make people physically weak or completely unconscious, unable to defend themselves and often unable to remember anything. Many of the drugs used in this kind of assault have no color, smell or taste, even in water. The organization notes that all drugs affect how well your mind and body operate and alcohol is the number one most used drug there is.
Below are a few ways to protect yourself when you are at a party, bar or some other event:
- Never drink a drink someone hands you and you did not see being made (yes, even your date).
- Never leave your drink unattended. Take it with you, even to the bathroom and dance floor. If you do leave your drink – just get another one.
- Stick with your friends. There is safety in numbers.
If you are drugged and taken advantage of, it is not your fault. Report the incident immediately. Intervene, if you see someone unable to walk on their own. Stay with them until they sober up enough to make their choices known.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, visit Anaheim Regional Medical Center, 1111 W. La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA and report it as soon as possible. Go to the emergency room and they will send you to the Safe Place for forensic rape kit. Your actions can save someone else from suffering the same fate.
For more information & help:
- Orange County 24-hour Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Hotline 714-957-2737
Confidential support from trained sexual assault counselors who can help you with resources.