I don’t usually post on Sundays, but a terrifying incident last night compels me to issue a dire warning. If you’re a teen, or have a teen child, please read on.
I was working at an 18th birthday party in Melbourne’s east. At 9 pm, two 16-year-old girls arrived.
I noticed that one girl was a little agitated and erratic, but she didn’t appear to be affected by anything.
I kept my eye on her for half an hour and saw her start to become unsteady on her feet.
I approached her, but couldn’t smell alcohol, so I asked her if she’d drunk anything before arriving.
She said that someone had given her something on a tram. She was hard to understand; her sentences were muddled and her words slurred.
I alerted the host parents and continued to question the girl, as I was concerned about what else had happened on the tram.
She told me she’d caught the tram on her own and was approached by a group of dark-skinned males.
One grabbed her round the neck and the group threatened to harm her unless she drank a clear, vile-tasting liquid which, under duress, she did.
On telling her story to me, the girl started to cry. I sat her in the lounge and got her drinking water.
I then spoke further with the host parents, who rang the girl’s mother and asked her to collect her.
A few minutes later, someone screamed, ‘She’s fallen on the floor!’
I ran to the lounge and found the girl muttering incoherently. Her breathing was laboured and she started convulsing.
The host mother called an ambulance, to which she relayed vital signs.
Meanwhile I and others tried to keep the girl on her side. By now she was scared and hysterical.
Her eyes rolled back and she began lapsing in and out of consciousness.
The ambulance arrived, along with the girl’s distraught mother. She was taken to Box Hill hospital.
On arrival, the girl’s blood alcohol content was found to be 0.25 – five times the limit for driving a vehicle and devastating for a young girl’s health and welfare.
Today she’s still on a drip and Police are investigating.
I’ve since found that up to ten thugs were involved in this terrifying incident.
Though the girl had met friends at her destination, the damage was done during her solo tram trip.
Had she not made it to the stop, things could have been even worse.
The lessons here are clear:
- Young people should not catch public transport alone. Especially at night.
- Parents should make alternative travel arrangements. Or drive them personally.
- They should also monitor their child’s progress to ensure they travel safely to and from a venue.
It’s getting very nasty out there.
Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.