Jul 24 2005
By Terry O'Hanlon

THEY head for the Med for sun and fun.... but too many girls' holidays end in tears and torment.

Incredibly, even before the main summer exodus has begun, 33 British women have been raped over 12 weeks in Spain, Greece and other Med resorts - many having had their drinks spiked with a date-rape drug.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Rape support groups fear the real number could be three times higher as many are too afraid to report their ordeals.

In May a girl of 21, from Wales, was gang-raped by five Spanish men in Majorca just weeks after an English woman was raped at gunpoint by some men.

Two months ago a Brit girl, 22, was raped by six holidaymakers in Tenerife. Now the Foreign Office, women's support groups and travel bosses are warning women to be aware of strangers.

A travel rep with a major tourist firm alerted the Sunday Mirror to the date-rape drug threat in Med tourist resorts.

The Spanish-based woman said :"There is a lot of concern for hen party groups and ladettes who go drinking from bar to bar and club to club and are not on their guard.

"This is happening every week in busy resorts in Portugal, France, Spain, Greece, and Turkey. Some local men are sexual predators, who want to bed as many British girls as possible.

"But some girls are so ashamed they don't report it. Others, raped after having drugs slipped into their drinks, get home to find they have caught venereal disease or worse, such as HIV. They must be warned of the dangers."

When asked if the dress and behaviour of women encouraged attacks Yvonne Traynor, of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre charity said :"I don't think you can blame women. Rape isn't mostly about sexual attraction. It's about domination and power and control.

The men took it in turns

VICTORIA Calton, 35, from Norwich, was raped by two men after a gang approached her on the Greek Island of Corfu.

Victoria, a residential care assistant, and seven friends went for a fortnight's break in July 2001. On the fourth night, they went to a restaurant-bar in Kavos and she became separated.
She said: "I decided to walk back to the hotel. There didn't seem any danger, hundreds of people were milling around."

But Victoria was approached by four men - she thinks three were British and one was Greek - in their late 20's who asked if she wanted a drink. When she refused, she was carried to the beach, dumped behind a stack of deckchairs and raped.

She says: "One man stood on my arms and another had hold of my legs while the two others took it in turn to rape me.

"At one point, after I began shouting for help, I was hit in the face with a bottle which chipped a tooth."

Left numb, Victoria got back to her hotel and her friends called the police. "They weren't interested - I was British and all British girls were the same. I wish I'd never contacted them."

No one was ever arrested.

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