A WOMAN who was spiked with a needle in the town centre earlier this month said she no longer has the ‘confidence to live’ her life the way she wants to - and is urging people to be aware of the dangers.
Sarah Peterson, 47, of Broad Street in Hoyland, went out for a few drinks in the town centre on May 7 after the Barnsley fixture against Peterborough.
Whilst inside a pub, she noticed she became uneasy on her feet and eventually passed out - it wasn’t until she returned home when she found a bruise on her arm.
Sarah believes she was injected with GHB - also known as a ‘date rape’ drug - and is currently awaiting the results of a blood test.
She also suffers with cardiomyopathy - a general term for diseases of the heart muscle, where the walls of the heart chambers have become stretched, thickened or stiff - making the ordeal even scarier for the Hoyland mum.
She told the Chronicle: “The next morning I felt fine, no hangover or anything which is strange.
“I went home and when I was in the shower I noticed a bruise and needle mark on my arm, it was then I realised I had been spiked with a needle.
“After doing some research online I presumed it would be GHB as the symptoms matched how I was and how I acted.
“As soon as I shared my thoughts regarding being spiked to my friends I was with, they said they thought as much as it all made sense.
“I am currently waiting for my blood results to come back to see if I have any infection from the needle used, as we do not know if the needle was clean.
“I have to wait for an appointment at the hospital to check that it hasn’t caused any further damage to my heart as I have cardiomyopathy.
“I will shortly be starting a three to six month course of hep B vaccines, and all because someone thinks it’s okay to spike me.”
Sarah said she never thought something like this would happen to her.
“I can honestly say I never thought anything like that would happen to me, I don’t think anyone does,” she said.
“Considering I’m in my late 40s, and not model material, I wouldn’t see why anyone would want to.
“I was with a group of friends - one who is almost seven foot tall and very well known in the town - so they must have waited until I was alone to even attempt to do this.”
She admits she was ‘embarrassed’ to go to the police at first but is now wanting to share her story to encourage others to speak up about the issue.
“I will admit I was both embarrassed and ashamed of my actions, and the fact I had let myself get in a position where this could happen to me and felt at fault so didn’t report it straight away,” she said.
“I am told it’s quite normal but the more I thought about it, I realised it wasn’t my fault and I needed to report this so that it can try prevent any one else being in the same position.
“This needs to stop, I will campaign to ensure everyone is aware that spiking is taking place in our town.
“If I can prevent one lady from being spiked or getting help as soon as possible, or even better the men who are doing this to realise it is wrong and we won’t accept this, then even better.
“The lasting effects on someone’s mental health is also a major concern.
“I think it will be a while before I am around strangers.
“How is it fair that I no longer have the confidence to live my life the way I used to and all because of one man who thinks he has the right to violate me?”