Loading articles...

Government warning women about travel to popular tourist destinations

Last Updated Dec 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm EDT

As we approach the coldest months of the year, many Canadians will be heading south to popular tourist destinations like Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. While the countries may be paradise to some, they are also among the countries listed on the government of Canada’s travel advisory website, with a warning to women.

Global Affairs Canada recently issued advisories for a list of countries where women have reported being sexually assaulted, in some cases by resort staff. This comes after a CityNews investigation into reports of four Canadian women being sexually assaulted at Hotel Riu Republica resorts in the Dominican.

The government says in the countries under the advisory, women may be at risk of having their drinks or food spiked with drugs, they may be raped or sexually assaulted, and the perpetrators could be anyone from taxi drivers and resort staff to fellow tourists.

Below is a list of popular tourist spots in the Caribbean and Latin America that were on the list as of Friday. Out of 32 popular winter getaway destinations on the government website — 28 in the Caribbean and four in Latin America — more than half include warnings to women.


ANGUILLA

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

BAHAMAS

Crime

Sexual assault occurs frequently, particularly near hotels, in hotel rooms, in casinos, on cruise ships and on the beach. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, do not consume any drugs and don’t accept rides from strangers or from unlicensed taxi drivers. Due to incidents of sexual assault, it is recommended to be wary when embarking on jet-ski rides with licensed or unlicensed operators.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault or robbery.

Women’s safety

Sexual assaults are on the rise in Nassau, including on Paradise Island. In some incidents, the victim was drugged.

BARBADOS

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. There are also incidents of violent crime, including armed robbery and sexual assault.

BELIZE

Crime

Cases of sexual assault against female travellers have been reported. Always travel in groups and avoid isolated areas, including unsupervised beaches, especially at night. Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault.

BONAIRE

Women’s safety

Incidents of sexual assault occur.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

CAYMAN ISLANDS

Women’s safety

Sexual assaults occur. Women travelling alone may also be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Spiked foods and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

CUBA

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Some incidents of assault, rape and sexual aggression against Canadian women have also occurred, including at beach resorts.

COSTA RICA

Women’s safety

Incidents of sexual assault against foreigners at beach resorts and by taxi drivers in San José have been reported. The risk increases for women travelling alone and they may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Incidents of assault, rape and sexual aggression against foreigners have occurred, including at beach resorts. In some cases, hotel employees have been implicated.

  • Exercise caution when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances.
  • Be wary of rides or other invitations.
  • Avoid taking public transportation or walking alone at night.

 

If you are a victim of a sexual assault or other crime, you should report it immediately to the nearest Canadian consulate or embassy.

You are also strongly advised to file a report with Dominican authorities. No criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint to Dominican authorities before departing the country.

DOMINICA

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Incidents of sexual assault occur.

GRENADA

Women’s safety

Sexual assault against female travellers occurs. Women travelling alone may also be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

JAMAICA

Assault

Be wary of “friendly” strangers. There have been reports of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts carried out by resort staff and, in some cases, by other tourists. Women travelling alone are often harassed. Refrain from excessive drinking, especially at all-inclusive resorts. Although most hotels and resorts are well guarded, ensure that your hotel room doors and windows are secure.

MEXICO

Assault

Foreigners have been physically and sexually assaulted. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel at popular tourist destinations were involved. Ensure your accommodations have adequate security features (such as cameras and security guards with radios), as not all resorts offer the same level of security.

Avoid walking after dark, especially alone, and avoid deserted or under-populated areas. Only go to bars and nightclubs in a group and avoid separating from the group. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and do not accept invitations or rides from strangers or recent acquaintances, as these can make you a more vulnerable target for criminals. In cases of sexual assault, police authorities will order a medical examination.

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Crime

Petty crime and violent crime, such as armed robbery and sexual assault, occurs. Avoid isolated areas and unpatrolled beaches after dark.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Crime

Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occur frequently on the island of Trinidad, especially in the capital, Port of Spain. Tourists have been targeted.

TURKS AND CAICOS

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault or robbery.

VIRGIN ISLAND (U.S.)

Women’s safety

Incidents of sexual assault occur. Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.


Related content:

Canadian alleges she was raped by resort staff in Dominican Republic

Second Canadian woman alleges sexual assault at Dominican resort

Another woman alleges sex assault at Dominican resort