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Drug-Related Rape

Did you know…

  • 55% of men surveyed who admitted to having sexually assaulted their date also admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the time.
  • 53% of women surveyed who identified themselves as victims of sexual assault, also admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the time.
  • 75% of men and 55% of women involved in acquaintance rapes reported using alcohol or other drugs prior to the incident.
  • Just because someone is intoxicated... does not mean, "they are asking" for a sexual encounter. In many cases they are not capable of making their own decisions. Having sex with someone who is unable to make their own decision is sexual assault.

Drug-related rape occurs when a person is drugged for the purpose of sexual assault. There are many different types of drugs being used for drug-related rape. These drugs include prescription or illegal drugs and are often odourless, colourless, tasteless, and difficult to detect in any type of drink.

This web page contains information and links to resources about drug related rape.

What are symptoms related to drug-related rape?

  • The effects of drugs used to commit rape vary.
  • Victims have reported feeling confusion, nausea, drowsiness, loss of motor control, and in some cases amnesia.
  • Sometimes, victims may become unconscious.

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Where does drug-related rape happen?

  • Drug-related rape is not limited to bars, clubs, and raves.
  • It often happens in the home and at social gatherings.
  • It can happen to both females and males and is most often committed by someone the victim knows.
  • The term "date rape" drug is usually used incorrectly when describing drugs that are used to commit drug-related rape.
  • "Date Rape" gives the false impression that a drug-related rape can only happen in a dating situation.

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What can I do to protect myself?

In order to protect yourself you need to understand that drug-related rape can happen to anyone, in any situation.

  • Watch what you drink!
  • Always keep an eye on your drink even if it means taking it with you while you dance or go to the washroom.
  • At a bar or a club, accept drinks only from a bartender or server.
  • At social gatherings (including house parties), do not accept drinks that have already been opened or were made by someone else.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FRIENDS. If after a couple (small amount) of drinks your friend suddenly appears extremely intoxicated, confused, or experiences symptoms of dizziness or extreme drowsiness... GO TO a hospital emergency room immediately. Try to keep a sample of the drink for testing.

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What should I do if I suspect that I have been a victim of drug-related rape?

  • The first thing you need to worry about is your immediate safety.
  • Do what you need to do to make yourself safe.
  • It may be helpful to contact someone you trust, a crisis service, police or hospital.
  • You also need to make sure there are no immediate physical injuries that need to be looked after. If there has been vaginal intercourse then you need to consider the possibility of pregnancy (if that is a risk for you). You can get the emergency contraceptive pill to reduce the possibility of pregnancy. It must be taken within 72 hours of being sexually assaulted. You can get this at a Sexual Health clinic, doctor's office, walk-in clinic or at a hospital sexual assault treatment centre External Link.
  • Another concern may be the possibility of getting a sexually transmitted infection. Medication can be taken immediately after an assault to prevent certain infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea, incubating syphilis) without having to undergo an examination.
  • You may choose treatment for possible exposure to hepatitis B (if you have not had the vaccine before). That is offered at the hospital and needs to be done preferably within 48 hours of the assault.
  • You may choose to have an HIV test at some point. The waiting period is usually 14 weeks before a test can be done, however there are times when it can be done earlier if it is a concern for you. There are sites that can do this testing anonymously. Treatment is available for possible exposure to HIV, however it also needs to be taken within hours of the assault and is still somewhat controversial. It may be helpful to know that there is less than a 1% chance of contracting HIV from a single act of vaginal intercourse.
  • Your emotional health also needs to be a concern for you. Experiencing sexual assault is very traumatizing and so seeking counselling is going to help you for your long-term healing.
    For more information, visit our web pages on What to Do if You Experience a Sexual Assault and Community Supports for Sexual Assault/Violence.

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Related Links

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