Port St. Lucie Business Women Learn About Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

The Port St. Lucie Business Women learned that “What’s on TAP” no longer only refers to the various beers offered in a bar or restaurant at their October 19 meeting. Fellow Business Women member Mindi Fetterman, who is the founder of The Inner Truth Project, a not for profit organization offering services to survivors of sexual violence and community outreach to educate the public about this widespread public health threat, talked about the organization’s program “What’s On TAP.”

Fetterman grabbed attention stating that every 98 seconds someone experiences actual or attempted sexual assault. Drugs and alcohol often are used to minimize the resistance and memory of the victim. Since as many as three out of every four sexual assault cases involve alcohol or drugs, The Inner Truth Project developed a program to “Train, Acknowledge and Protect (TAP)” against drug- facilitated sexual assault. The free program is offered to bar and restaurant owners and employees, law enforcement and medical personnel to help keep patrons safe and to better assist victims. “’What’s on TAP’ teaches those in the community how to become effective bystanders,” said Fetterman.

“It’s easy to drop something into someone’s drink,” she said. To prove her point, Fetterman asked those who ordered cola drinks to raise their hands. Imagine the surprise when she told them, “While you were networking before the meeting started, a stone was dropped into your glass without your knowledge.”

Fetterman pointed out that you also can be drugged by someone touching you, such as placing their hands around your wrist. The point is to always remain aware.

“The problem with these drugs is that they wipe your memory. And even if you go to the emergency room when you come out of your stupor, most drugs are out of your system within 24 hours. There’s no way to trace what drug was given,” said Fetterman.

What’s On TAP trains bar and restaurant workers to be proactive in keeping patrons safe. Currently, more than 20 local establishments have had this training and are certified. Fetterman urged the Business Women to ask if an establishment is certified and if not, encourage the bar or restaurant to participate in the program. The goal is to promote an environment that is fun and safe and to encourage a culture for bar staff and patrons to intervene where appropriate.

“After one drink if you notice someone slurring, foaming at the mouth or acting lightheaded, get them help,” said Fetterman. “Don’t put them in a cab and send them home, because that’s when bad things happen.”

To learn more, become a volunteer on a TAP TEAM or to find out how to bring the “What’s On TAP” training to your favorite bar, call the Inner Truth Project at (772) 200-4599 or visit www.InnerTruthProject.org.

The Port St. Lucie Business Women is a professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of business women and serving our community in an effective way. For more information visit www.pslbw.com. “Like” their Facebook page for updates about events, programs and community involvement.

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