Vulnerability of young girls

AMcAuliffe (
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 08:43:11 -0500

Forwarded from HECNews.

Friday, January 22, 1999

Vulnerability of young girls makes parenting scarier than ever

By Tom Long / The Detroit News

    Sometimes, the obvious still needs to be stated: Right now is a
scary time to be raising a daughter.

    Yes, it's a scary time for raising a son, too, and it's probably
a scary time for raising a hamster. But events of the past year here
in Michigan have made having a daughter -- and, I'm sure, being a
daughter -- particularly stressful.

    Months of publicity surrounding the statutory rape cases from
Grosse Pointe already had parents on alert. Not that the idea that
older guys would get younger girls drunk so they could have their
way was anything new. But it was so out in the open. And the abuse
was so blatant. And the girls were so young.

    Add to that all the publicity surrounding teen drinking, and
drinking-related deaths. The young woman at Ferris State who
apparently simply overbinged this month and died. The tragedy last
October of a University of Michigan student who fell to her death
after attending a frat party where alcohol was served.

    And now add the death of a 15-year-old Rockwood girl who
apparently went to a party last week where someone slipped her
and a friend the "date rape" drug GHB. Both girls went into a coma.
One never came out.

    Worried, Mom and Dad?

    You're damn right we are.

    And we have good reason to be. Not just because of the dangers
that lurk out there. But also because of this simple truth: When
you're young you like to party.

    And many of us would have to admit that when we were young,
we did indeed party.

    When you're young you can feel immortal. Have a couple of
drinks and you feel even more immortal. You trust the people you're
with, even if you just met them 15 minutes ago. And if nothing has
ever gone really wrong in your life it's hard to imagine anything
ever will.

    If you're looking ahead at a life of mortgage payments and career
chaos, nightly news and regular checkups, if you're looking, in fact,
at being a responsible human being someday, then youth seems like
a pretty darn good time to be irresponsible.

    I know it does, because I was Mr. Irresponsibility with a party
hat long after most of my peers had settled down. And the crews I
ran with made Animal House seem like a petting zoo.

    But somehow today it's different. As out there as we were, I can't
imagine anyone I knew thinking it would be cool to drug a girl and
then rape her. I don't remember any of us thinking comas were a

    But the use of date rape drugs is reportedly on the rise. You
wonder, who are these guys?

    And then you realize: These are the guys my 15-year-old daughter
might meet.

    Last week she went out for a couple of hours with three friends.
One girl drove, to an arcade about 10 miles from home. We
realized it was the first time she'd gone that far without an adult

    It worried us. But we realized she was going to go off on her own
sooner or later. So she went, and had a good time, and came home
safe and sound.

    You're supposed to pray. You're supposed to have faith that your
kid is good. You're supposed to hope you've done a good job of
raising them.

    But now, more than ever, you have to also just hope they're lucky.
And hope you're lucky.

    And believe me, that's scary.

    Tom Long's column appears in Features on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays. He can be reached by phone at (313)
222-8879, or by e-mail at

Copyright 1999, The Detroit News


Forwarded by the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other
Drug Prevention. For more information, see our website at

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