Osheaga attendee claims she was drugged and no one helped
Melanie Doucet says she made it out safely, but wants Montreal festival to do more to prevent sexual violence
A woman who says her drink was spiked at the Osheaga music festival in Montreal is publicly asking the event's organizers to better train their staff to prevent sexual assault.
Melanie Doucet claims that when she reported that she was drugged to security crews, she was brushed off.
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"They said they were really busy, that they try their best but can't catch everything," Doucet told CBC News. "They told me I should have paid more attention to my drink."
But that's exactly what she did, she insists in a Facebook post shared widely online.
Doucet was enjoying the Red Hot Chili Peppers show on Friday with her friends when she lost sight of them. She said she started talking to a group of men with a drink in her hand when she began to feel a sensation she recognized.
She said she'd been drugged beforehand at the festival site at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
"I suddenly went from being super happy to not being able to control my own body or speak properly," she said. "I knew right away what happened."
Afraid she'd be followed
Her immediate reaction was to leave the festival as soon as possible.
No one recognized that I was in crisis. They found it irritating and pushed me away.- Melanie Doucet
"I was afraid that who did it would follow me home and pretend they're my friend. That's what usually happens," she said.She struggled through the crowd, latching on to people so she wouldn't fall. Unable to talk, she started to cry.
"They were looking at me like I was a mess," she said. "No one recognized that I was in crisis. They found it irritating and pushed me away."
She made it safely to her boyfriend's house, although she has no memory of how she got there.
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But the next day, she went back to the festival to alert security staff and tell them to be alert for other women who may have been drugged. That's when she got brushed off by festival workers.
Evenko to investigate
A spokesperson for Evenko, which organizes the festival, said the company takes all necessary measures to ensure the safety of festival goers.
"We are sorry to hear what happened to this lady. We will proceed with an investigation in order to find out what transpired," Philip Vanden Brande said in an email.
Montreal police advise people to go to such events with trusted friends, to keep an eye on drinks and to report any cases of drugging.
"We encourage people to declare this events. Make sure that as soon as possible you advise police so we can go on site and launch an investigation," Const. Jean Pierre Brabant said.
Doucet said that going to the police would have been of little help.
"I didn't know who did it to me. I don't have a perpetrator to identify," she said.
Instead, she wants Osheaga organizers to devote more resources to prevent druggings and to help victims.
"If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone," she said.