What began as an initial vacation flirtation ended in absolute horror for an 18-year-old from Hanover last week in Mallorca: the young woman is said to have been raped by several German vacationers in the room of a hotel near Ballermann on Thursday night.
The alleged perpetrators are now in custody. If a court convicts them, the men, aged between 21 and 23, face up to 15 years in prison.
The topic is currently also occupying many holidaymakers on the Balearic island. Young women in particular report fear and an uneasy feeling when they meet groups of young men.
Mallorca: “The incident shows that you should never travel alone”
That’s how it is for Anne R. and her five friends. The group from Halle traveled to Mallorca on Sunday. The young women, who are hardly older than the alleged victim of the alleged gang rape, just want to party on the island, meet nice people and have fun together. Just like thousands of holidaymakers on Mallorca want to have a good time these days.
But since last Thursday, many have been feeling insecure. “The incident shows that you should never be alone – especially here at Ballermann,” says Anne R. “It can be dangerous.”
The young holidaymakers see the issue of knockout drops as a major problem. And not without reason: there are always cases in Mallorca where holidaymakers are secretly administered knockout drops and then become victims of an attack.
The term knockout drops includes various psychotropic drugs such as narcotics, sleeping pills and GHB. In lower doses, they are also taken as party drugs. In higher doses, however, they can lead to unconsciousness, coma or even death.
Men were also victims of attacks with knockout drops at Ballermann
The number of unreported cases is high because the victims can only remember very little, and they usually appear to their friends as if they were very drunk. This is why bystanders often react incorrectly or too late.
Another problem is that the substances cannot be detected for long: only about six hours in the blood and twelve hours in the urine.
Perpetrators secretly pour the substances into their victims’ drinks – especially in clubs or other party locations – in order to make them pliable and defenseless. Those affected are then often robbed. Or sexual assault.
Men have also been the victims of attacks with knockout drops on Mallorca several times, including celebrities. In May, for example, after a performance in the MK Arena on Bierstrasse, Ballermann singer Alex Engel secretly poured knockout drops into the beer during the subsequent party.
“We never leave our drinks anywhere when we go dancing”
Luckily, an acquaintance was there to prevent worse from happening. “I was lucky, but I don’t want to think about what happens to people who are alone and therefore vulnerable,” Engel said in a social media post the day after the incident.
And reality TV star Eric Sindermann was also the victim of such an attack this season. The perpetrators not only robbed the former Big Brother participant of his smartphone, but also credit cards and jewelry with a total value of 6000 euros – apparently at the moment when he had been rendered defenseless by the knockout drops.
Anne R. and her friends are also afraid of sexual assaults, which only become possible with knockout drops – and therefore try to minimize the danger. “We never leave our drinks anywhere, for example when we go dancing,” says the young woman from Halle.
“We never travel alone. That’s very important here at Ballermann”
This is to prevent someone from pouring the substances into their drinks unnoticed. “If a stranger wants to buy us a drink, we’d rather say no – because you never know what’s in the open drinks.”
They would therefore always order their drinks themselves directly from the waiter. “And then we never leave our drinks alone and unattended.”
In order to protect themselves, the girls would always take care of each other: “We never travel alone and always stay together so that nothing happens,” says R. “That’s very important here at Ballermann.”