FAQs about Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Why do people use them?

People use these drugs to alter the mental state of their victim, causing the victim to become submissive. The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste. A victim does not know they are being drugged, yet they are removed out of clarity of mind and easy to take advantage of.

What do the drugs do?

Date-rape drugs induce sexual activity that a person does not agree to. It can include touching that is not appropriate, sexual intercourse, rape, and attempted rape. These drugs are powerful and dangerous, and strongly alter the perception of the victim.

What do they look like?

There are a wide variety of date-rape drugs. They can come in liquid, powdered or a pill form. The variation in appearance makes it difficult to detect their presence by looking at your drink. Some drugs can have a slightly salty taste, can cloud the drink, turn the drink dark blue, and the most advanced kind will not alter the flavor or appearance of the drink whatsoever.

Who uses them?

Because they are referred to as ‘date-rape’ drugs there is a common misconception that the victim knows the person. However, these drugs are used by people who wish to engage you in sexual activity without your consent. This is not to say that they are not used on people of close relation to the deviant, however they are most commonly used by strangers who aim to never see you again.

Where do people use them?

These drugs also are known as "club drugs" because they tend to be used at dance clubs, concerts, and raves. However, they can be found in all areas in which people are drinking. The goal is to make the victim feel their decision was impaired by the over-consumption of alcohol, while not realizing they were drugged.

How do they work?

The drugs can make you become weak, confused, and can even cause you to pass out so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself. If you are drugged, you might not remember what happened while you were drugged.

How do you protect yourself?

Any drug that can affect judgment and behavior can put a person at risk for unwanted sexual assault, one must understand that alcohol can also be used to impair a victim for the purpose of sexual assault. Never let your drink out of sight, share drinks, consume drinks that are unattended. If someone buys you a drink, go to the bar and watch it be poured. Don’t let anyone hold your drink, and have a friend with you looking out for you. If you feel unusual, get help right away.

What to do if you are assaulted?

If you believe you were assaulted, get medical care right away. Call 911 or go to an emergency room. Don't urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink before you go, and do not touch the area in which the assault occurred. There may be physical evidence of the rape or assault. The hospital will use a "rape kit" to collect evidence. Call the police from the hospital, and tell them exactly what you remember. Be honest about all your activities. You may later find trauma therapy helpful in coping with your situation.