RULES THAT WILL KEEP YOU SAFE ON HOLIDAY; Alert after Date Rape Attack on Irish Tourist

Article excerpt

Byline: CAOIMHE YOUNG

WOMEN were warned yesterday to take extra care on holiday abroad following the rape of an Irish tourist in Turkey.

The Irish Mirror reported a young woman's drink was spiked in the resort of Mahmutlar near Alanya.

She was then dragged into a storeroom and raped.

Detectives have arrested one man, thought to be a local, in connection with the brutal attack.

Geraldine Connolly, head of clinical services with the Rape Crisis Centre in Dublin, said: "We all love to relax on holidays because that's what it's all about.

"But it is important to keep your wits about you and an eye on all your friends as much as possible.

"Stay in crowds and make sure everyone goes home together."

Geraldine has welcomed the Turkish police department's swift action in the case of the Irish victim.

She said: "It is very encouraging that the police acted so quickly.

"I think it will give heart to other victims to learn to trust foreign authorities.

"A lot of victims do not report the crime until they are safe at home."

Tens of thousands of young Irish women jet out every year to sun-kissed hotspots.

But Geraldine said the centre receives more calls from victims of holiday rape during the summer months.

Often the victim waits until she returns to the security and loving environment of her home before plucking up the courage to report the crime.

Geraldine added: "The victim tends to associate the holiday destination with the crime and cannot wait to be home with family and friends.

"We have also seen a lot of cases where the victim cannot even bring herself to tell her friends until days later.

"This usually occurs when a drink has been spiked and the victim feels guilty because she had a few drinks."

But Geraldine stressed that no woman deserves to be raped.

She said: "We all have a few drinks too many, especially on holidays, but that does not mean we should be raped.

"No-one deserves it but a lot of girls feel guilty and it prevents them reporting the crime to foreign police.

"It is complete nonsense to feel that they have done something wrong - a victim of sexual violence is never at fault. …