Bonn Just a moment ago, happily dancing and „schunkelnd“ and in the next moment completely defenceless: Alexandra Roth experienced the nightmare that many women fear. During a cheerful pub crawl for the 2018 carnival kick-off, the 41-year-old apparently was poured knockout drops into her Kölsch. She is publicly talking about her experience and started a campaign.
"I can't remember anything and have an absolute mental blank," says the mother of two daughters. Her luck: The former Bonna, who reigned in session 2017/2018 as Alexandra III, was not alone. "I was out with friends who immediately realized that something was wrong with me and took me home and to safety," she reports. She would never have thought that something like this would happen to her. "Obviously the perpetrators do not only choose young women. Today I know that it can happen to anyone.“
But Alexandra Roth did not hide after this experience. "Of course I was shocked and ashamed. But it is important to me that I sensitize others to this topic and deter potential perpetrators at the same time. That's why I'm not going to stop there," says the ex-princess.
Yellow bracelets as a sign
"This is a matter close to my heart now." So she started the campaign „NO! K.O. - Play it safe". Besides information flyers she will sell glowing bracelets and pins. For the first time they will be offered on November 11 on the Bonn market place for one Euro. The profits of the entire campaign goes to the victim protection association Weißer Ring.
"Information is the most important at all. If one carries the little ribbon, then one reminds oneself hopefully always to keep your glass in sight. And perpetrators see that there someone who is aware, to whom the bad reaction to the K.O.-drops is well-known.“ It is still difficult to prove that a woman has been administered the narcotics. The active ingredient is usually only detectable for 24 hours, and during this time the affected persons are usually not responsive.
Alexandra Roth also slept for hours at home. "When I woke up again, it was already too late for a test," she says. "The conclusive chemical-toxicological evidence is often no longer possible," explains Frank Piontek from the Bonn police. "From the years 2018 and 2019 therefore no case is known, in which the administration of K.O. means could be proven“, said the police speaker.
Topic is important all year round
"Many affected women are not at all in a position to seek immediate medical treatment," observes Conny Schulte of the Bonn Women's Association against Sexualised Violence. There are always cases in which women are in acute danger of life due to the dosage. "If possible, we advise those affected to make use of the anonymous forensic services offered by hospitals to document their findings in a usable form," Schulte said. "Equally important is the psychological help we offer women after sex crimes.“
Alexandra Roth still does not know how the knockout drops were administered to her. "I am actually always very careful. I probably took a beer from a wreath," she suspects, "I was probably a random victim.“
It is important to her, however, that this topic does not only concern the "jecke Zeit". "I don't want the carnival to be put in a bad light - it's a subject that is valid 365 days a year. When you celebrate together, you go home together and you respect each other," she says, "There is no one hundred percent protection, but I want you to be attentive.“
Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel
Translation: Mareike Graepel