We met Keely Field when she was in charge of Mayor Shyne’s successful 2020 campaign run for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council. Field is a self-described lifelong feminist and political activist. She currently serves as chair of the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board and for the past four years as Vice President of Outreach for the first feminist democratic club in all of LA County, the Heart of LA Democratic Club. She’s also a ball of energy, smarts, and advocates from a place of compassion; for women in leadership, domestic violence awareness, sexual assault victims, and also, feral cats, so it’s no surprise that Field is the driving force behind the Test My Drink cards being distributed throughout West Hollywood that quickly identifies if a drink has been spiked with drugs.
I’m still troubled from watching you publicly share your trauma during West Hollywood’s Nighttime Safety Study Session last August. I witnessed your body slowly shake and bottom lip quiver as you recalled the attack and aftermath. (Sotile was sitting across from Field on the panel as a member of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board) Did the idea for the Test My Drink cards to be distributed at local clubs and restaurants come from your personal experience?
Ever since that horrific, life altering day on New Year’s Eve nine years ago, I am triggered every time I walk into a bar or club. I wanted to find a solution for myself and others to feel safe, to take away vulnerability and be able to enjoy our time out in the world again. Through research I found Test My Drink cards. In real time, these cards allow us to test our drink and have 100% assurance that what’s in the glass has not been spiked, or laced with GHB or Ketamine. If only I had a Test My Drink card at the club that night. I could have simply taken my straw, put a small dab from the one and only drink I had that fateful evening onto the circle on the card and wait a minute or two to see if the color circle turned blue. Then, not only would I have had physical evidence of the crime committed against me, but I would not have sipped from that drink at all, and I would not have ended up blacked out, half naked, raped and left bleeding on a bathroom floor in a swanky Hollywood night club oblivious to the hundreds of party goers counting down to the new year.
I was found by a good Samaritan on the floor of a locked women’s bathroom stall. She literally saved me and drove me across town to the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, after stopping at Cedars-Sinai and being told they do not provide or perform rape kits. One of these cards would have saved me and I could have called the police right then and there, and point out the perp, a friend of a friend, who bought me that drink while we were chatting at the upstairs bar.
I never received justice even with a detailed police report and witness interviews. This perp was never arrested, charged, or even detained. I fear he’s continuing his brutal attacks to this day.
Take us through the process of securing support from the West Hollywood City Council.
I initially attended a City of West Hollywood Public Safety Commission meeting in the fall of 2021. I gave first hand testimony of my very painful survival story and submitted a written account that included the daily trauma I live with. I am grateful that all of the commissioners embraced me that night with sincere support.
I then started sending emails to WeHo City Council and was determined to get Test My Drink cards at every bar and club in the entire city. I gave public comments at city council meetings about the ongoing drink spiking occurring at many bars in the city, and how 99% of the assaults were not being reported to the sheriffs out of fear, and shame.
By February 2022, Test My Drink cards were a proposal item on the official city council meeting agenda. I called in public comment and again told my horrific experience of surviving drugging and assault and explained the reason the test cards were vital to have at every business in the city that serves drinks.
They are a preventive tool that would deter perps away, plus, put the power in the hands of the patron.City council passed the item unanimously.
It then took another 6 months of meetings, checking in with city staff and councilmembers to make the Test My Drink cards a reality in our city. There were delays regarding budget and managing the rollout, but finally in August 2022, myself, along with other city officials, handed out hundreds of the test cards to all the bars along Santa Monica Blvd and Robertson. Several TV news stations reported on a very successful rollout. I continued to send heartfelt emails to city staff, city manager, and city council about needing the cards permanently and freely available in all of our city businesses. Every week I would check in with city staff as to when we could do handouts to ALL the businesses.
In October 2022, I was informed that the City entered into a contract with the LA LGBT center for its WeHo Life program to regularly purchase and distribute test cards to businesses.
This is the best possible way for more people to have access to the cards when and where they need them. The key is getting the cards to as many people as possible and the WeHo Life contract will make that happen on a regular, consistent basis by providing supply to the businesses. In addition, they will provide regular updates to the city on the number of test cards distributed and number of businesses participating so the city manager will be able to evaluate the program going forward.
What is the feedback from businesses? How does it work?
Feedback has been good from the businesses overall. Local business owners, even hairdressers reached out to me directly to request as many test cards as possible to hand out (and have freely available) at their businesses. The employees and bartenders at Rocco’s WEHO have been supportive from day one. The Test My Drink cards are openly available and freely able to take from bowls and containers displayed at the bar.
Each kit has 10 cards in them, with 2 sets of test circles on each card, and these cards don’t expire for 3 years. They are the size of a business card, and provide a sense of security that no drugs, GHB or Ketamine (which is 100% tasteless, colorless, and odorless), have been put in your drink or water, which can be spiked too.
What is your ultimate goal for Keely’s Test Strips, which they are referred to as on the street?
I’m on a mission to get these vital Test My Drink cards in every city, in every county, all across California and also the nation. They cost less than $1, and are easily available on Amazon.
My goal is to go to Congress and give a first-hand account of the PTSD, fear and trauma that a person is inflicted with when they are the victim of a spiked and laced drink and secure more protections on a larger scale, including these vital test cards.
Research shows one third of women have either been spiked themselves or know someone who has.
I’ve personally spoken with over 42 survivors who were victims of drugged & spiked drinks and in most cases, sexually assaulted. Only one of the 42 victims reported the crime to the police. She was then sued by the owner of the bar for slander. It left her bankrupt and broken.
I know the shame. I was 33, in bloody clothes, cuts on my arms and legs, trying to file a rape report with an unsympathetic, very bored police officer.
100% of the open cases in West Hollywood filed by victims of assault and spiked drinks have not been solved, which means zero arrests have been made. This is unacceptable, and we as citizens cannot allow this to continue in any city. Test My Drink cards are a preventive tool that work. Since learning of them four years ago I don’t ever enter a bar, club or restaurant without one on hand.
Thank you for helping me spread the word. These cards are so vital for safety and to help prevent druggings and assaults every single day.
I think Ms. Keely Fields is incredibly brave. She is already helping people by telling her story. The fact that she been able to use her horrific experience to advocate for the widespread use of drink testing cards speaks volumes about her strength and commitment to preventing these awful sexual assaults from happening to anyone else. Good for you, Keely.
[…] Keely Fields, who herself was a victim, recently led the charge to provide bars in the city with Test My Drink strips. 0 0 votesArticle […]
[…] West Hollywood has long been a hotspot of spiked drugs and sexual assaults. West Hollywood resident Keely Fields, who herself was a victim, recently led the charge to provide bars in the city with Test My Drink strips. […]
[…] Keely Field, the Chair of the Women’s Advisory Board that she would not be re-appointed after an interview by Renee Sotile and MJ Godges on behalf of WEHOville. Sotile and Godges are long term residents of West Hollywood who parade […]
For the record: We decided on the photos to display here from Keely’s vast collection of activism. Most people will see the power of her spirit and determination 🌪️she is a force 🌪️ and speaking her truth to power 💥 helps others 💥 That’s the point.
Why would Ms. Field have her photo taken with VP Harris regarding rape? Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, failed to prosecute over a thousand pedophile priests of the Roman Catholic Church. Because the Roman Catholic Arch Diocese church’s lawyers paid for Harris’s campaign to elect her as DA and not prosecute the priests, Harris sealed all the records and prosecuted none. As a result, little boys and girls molested, raped, and buggered by Roman Catholic priests were not charged. Harris also refused to prosecute R.C. pedophile priests when she was Cal Attorney General! Ironically the U.S. Government is spending… Read more »
All these photos prompted a look at Ms. Field’s LinkedIn account. After reviewing multiple entries and statements regarding extensive Public Service I presumed that Test My Drunk would be a Non Profit endeavor. It is not. Without commenting on the usefulness of the test it is interesting that its pathway was somewhat assured through a Consent Calendar vote last year.
When people are intimidated by your strength and happiness, they will try to tear you down and break your spirit. Remember, it is a reflection of their weakness and not a reflection of you.
Do you have any metrics on the success or reliability of Test My Drink and its distribution?
This is really a great initiative that I’ve supported in various ways. Thank you for this.
That said, HRC is triggering for survivors of trafficking and organized abuse. Obviously it’s dismissive of the survivors of Epstein and other out of reach perps to braggingly include this photo in an article about sexual abuse.
Thank you for supporting the distribution of the cards. Please let us know if you are interested in sharing your involvement for a part 2 of the story.
Thank you for your story! However, Kamala Harris is the sorriest excuse of a vice president ever. Name one thing she has done in the name of women. Or just name one thing she’s done. She is a joke. And so is the old man. It’s the biggest joke of all time.
Seriously?!? That’s what you find noteworthy about this story, that she has a pic with Kamala Harris?
Ms. Field, thank you for using your voice and sharing your lived experience with us and our elected representatives to affect change and improve lives of others. Let us know how we can support your efforts.
Thank you Josh.
With apparent evidence why was this not prosecuted?
Sadly, so many cases like this fall through the cracks.
Where exactly did this happen Weho or Hollywood? Apparently the perpetrator was known to Ms. Field? I ask due to some remarkable experience in this field.
I’m so sorry this happened to you and you never got justice is appalling. Thank you for spearheading this amazing project. As for Cedars-Sinai not doing rape kits, WTF???? I for one plan to ask them why the F not???? Pisses me off.
The Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, provides free comprehensive care for people who have been sexually assaulted, regardless of where the assault occurred. Other LA area hospitals routinely refer patients to the Rape Treatment Center for evidence collection and care following sexual assault.
Thank you for explaining. It’s so hard to believe rape kits are not standard at every hospital.
That’s great, but a major hospital like Cedar Sinai, which charges inflated prices for all of its services and then has the nerve to ask for donations, should also be equipped to perform sexual assault exams and offer the same comprehensive care for rape victims as the UCLA rape treatment center offers. It’s traumatic for a rape victim to show up at a major hospital that markets itself as a leading medical institution to be told to drive elsewhere while she’s bleeding and in distress.