Third annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month Event for Advocates Against Battering and Abuse
8 p.m. Thursday
Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill
John was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center emergency room in December after he was found laying outside a Steamboat Springs apartment, the victim of an apparent assault.
At the hospital, Laura, his girlfriend, remembers John asking, "Where are my long johns, my boxers and my T-shirt?" John was wearing only his ski pants and a jacket, and he had no idea where his clothes were.
Laura was a patient at the hospital that night, too. Nurses were performing a rape exam on her. They tested her for date-rape drugs, but it was too late.
"The best time to detect them (date-rape drugs) is within a few hours, and if you urinate before that time, it is out of your system," said Tamika Payne, executive director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Police detectives realized they should test John for date-rape drugs, and emergency room personnel fished his catheter bag out of a garbage can to analyze his urine.
John would become the first confirmed Routt County victim of a date-rape drugging. He is 31.
John and Laura remember little from the evening they think they were raped by two men. But their story is becoming increasingly common in Routt County.
To increase awareness about sexual violence, Advocates Against Battering and Abuse is hosting its third annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month Event on Thursday night at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill.
At last year's event, attendees were given four-question quizzes that, if completed, earned them a free beer. The quizzes revealed that 77 percent of the respondents have been or know someone who has been sexually assaulted.
Alcohol is a common denominator in many sexual assault cases. Eighty-four percent of rapes are committed by someone who the victim knows, and 90 percent of those involve alcohol.
Hosting the awareness event in a brewery is part of the strategy to target the population that is most at risk.
"We found the event to be a unique way to reach the young adult population in Routt County to raise awareness about sexual violence," said Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates, a nonprofit organization.
The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault is supportive of the unconventional event.
The SAAM event features live music and a rotating PowerPoint presentation that will show local sexual assault statistics and provide safety tips. Event pint glasses will be sold for $10 and will include $2 beer refills. There also will be a silent auction.
All proceeds go to Advocates. For more information, call 879-2034.