Drug Facilitated Assault

Alcohol and other drugs are often used by perpetrators to incapacitate their victims.  There are many drugs that have been suspected or proven to be used in committing a sexual assault and they each have a different side effect.  Additionally, each victim is unique and will experience the effects of having been drugged differently.

Potential Effects of Being Drugged
  • appearance of being heavily intoxicated, often out of proportion to how much the victim has actually had to drink;
  • feelings of intoxication that come on very quickly
  • nausea, dizziness, disorientation, and decreased inhibition;
  • heaviness or paralysis in the arms and legs; inability to move or control your body’s movement
  • tunnel vision.
  • Intermittent awareness of what is occurring
Warning Signs - when the effects of drugs are wearing/worn off 
  • feeling sick, similar to an extreme hangover;
  • loss of memory of what happened just before waking up;
  • amnesia – no memory of anything that happened after taking a drink;
  • signs of possibly having been assaulted – waking up with clothes put on differently, in a strange place, etc.
What To Do If You Think You May have Been Drugged

As a victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault, you have many options regarding the type of assistance you may want. These options fall into three categories – medical help, counseling, and judicial/legal assistance.. It is important that you get to a place where you feel safe and can talk to someone you trust about what happened. Consider calling our Office, the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA). A sexual assault committed with the use of these drugs, are both criminal and university offenses. Help is available from our Office, from the local rape crisis center, the campus health centers, and the Rutgers University Police Department.

Important Factors to Remember
  • If you do not want to press charges against the perpetrator for drugging you, the cost of the test to screen for the presence of these drugs will not be covered.
  • If you think you have been sexually assaulted, and want to have a forensic examination, the cost of services for treatment for the sexual assault will be covered, whether or not you press charges.
  • Since these drugs leave the body quickly, it is important to have a test to screen for the presence of the drug as soon as possible. Traces of drugs stay in the body for varying timeframes, some as short at 6-8 hours, and may or may not be present in a screening
  • If you decide to be tested for the presence of these drugs, you will need to specifically ask to be tested for possible drug facilitated sexual assault.
Steps to Reduce Your Risk of drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Please remember that the perpetrator is solely responsible for committing the assault.  There are steps that we all can take to reduce our risk of being victimized.

  • Go out with and stay with friends – perpetrators isolate the victim to make committing a sexual assault easier.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times – setting it down for even a second is enough time for someone to tamper with it.
  • Get your own drinks – even if you know the person who is offering the drinks.
  • Avoid punch bowls – or other drinks that are highly accessible to being tampered with.
  • Avoid taking drinks that have candy or other objects in them – these objects may be used to disguise the appearance or taste of drugs in the drink.
  • Confront rumors or evidence of drugging – perpetrators use silence and secrecy to commit assaults
  • Get help for anyone who seems like they may have been drugged – even if you don’t know them, stay with them.
  • Drink responsibly – intoxication will lessen your awareness of what is going on around you.

If you believe you have been the victim of drug faclitated sexual assault IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

If at any time you believe you or a friend have been a victim of drug facilitated sexual assault or you have information of these drugs’ usage, please contact the Rutgers University Police Department or The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance at 848-932-1181