Wednesday, August 27, 2014

España: Norwegian Tourist, 48, Waives Anonymity to Help Other Rape Victims

According to The Olive Press, a Norwegian expat who was drugged and brutally raped on a night out is determined to have her story told and bring justice to her rapists.

A year after she was drugged and assaulted in an Albir bar, in Alicante province, Goril Hvidsten has waived her right to anonymity in an attempt to warn other potential victims. “If this has happened to me, and to other people I know, who knows how many countless other victims there are,” Hvidsten, 48, told The Olive Press.

“What about the girls who aren’t in their 40s and aren’t strong enough to go to the police, that are suffering in silence.”

Hvidsten, who moved to Albir in August 2013, was outside the bar when she was approached by three men: two Spaniards and a Romanian.

COMMENT: One tip that I can offer to all travelers is that when you first arrive in a country, visit your embassy and ask them for a list of reputable, radio-dispatched taxis the drivers of whom have been vetted and screened. This eliminates the potential for encountering hacks that own their own taxis.

“I had only had two beers so I was far from drunk. But suddenly I was completely out of control. I don’t remember much from the next seven hours, but some things are very clear.

“I remember walking outside to a taxi line, and feeling safe because I was sure that the taxi driver would realize something was wrong.

“You’re always told to get a taxi home after a night out because that’s the safest way. But it was these men that attacked me.”“But then one of the three guys walked to the driver’s side and got in and I realized it was HIS taxi.

Hvidsten was driven to the Romanian man’s apartment, where she was gang-raped by all three men.

“They were relaxed, like they had done it before and it was an everyday thing.”

“The taxi driver left early because he had to go back to driving his taxi.

“It was so brutal that I was bruised and scarred all over, and they crushed three of my front teeth.

“When it was over one of them said ‘Okay, you can go now’ and kicked me out.”

Hvidsten reported the crime to the police in Altea five days after the assault, and has chosen her assailants out of "line-ups" on three different occasions.

The bar-owner showed CCTV footage of Hvidsten and the men to other taxi drivers in the area, and one identified the Romanian man as his own brother.

All three men have admitted to having sex with Hvidsten but deny the charges of drugging and raping her.

“But the doctors say I must have been drugged because of the violence I endured,” argued Hvidsten.

Medical reports from the Hospital Comarcal concluded that Hvidsten was drugged with Scolapamine, previously reported on in an THE OLIVE PRESS investigation into drink-spiking.

The drug is powerful, fast-acting and notoriously simple to administer as it does not need to be ingested but merely inhaled.

“He had it on his finger and just reached over and put it under my nose, and I was under his spell for seven hours.

Despite numerous identity parades, the confessions of all three men and a preliminary hearing in March in front of a Benidorm judge, there is still no court case pending.

“Everything just takes such a long time. I only want answers and no one can give me them. I have a Spanish lawyer and he’s trying to help me, but it’s just the system here. There are always so many excuses."

THE OLIVE PRESS has launched a campaign against drink-spiking in Spain, after an exclusive investigation revealed an alarming absence of statistics and advice for tourists.

The campaign, which hopes to improve security for tourists, has three simple aims: more statistics, better policing, clearer advice.

If you would like to get in touch with THE OLIVE PRESS about any aspect of the campaign, email: 
newsdesk@theolivepress.es