There are times that perpetrators use alcohol and other drugs to facilitate their violence. This occurs in a number of ways such as: putting a incapacitating substance into a beverage or trying to convince a potential victim to over consume alcohol. Some of potential effects and warning signs are listed below. You may or may not experience these as many different types of drugs are used by perpetrators.
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/have 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.
● Medical help
● 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) at (856) 225-2326. A sexual assault committed with the use of drugs is both criminal and university offenses. Help is available from our Office, from the local rape crisis center, the campus health center, 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. Even if you do none or all of these things, a perpetrator may still commit an act of sexual violence against you.
● Have conversations about sexual violence and responsible partying with your friends before you go out. Create a safe word or signal that you can use if you feel that you or your friend is in danger.
● Keep your cell phone charged and with you
● Keep track of what you are drinking, how much you are drinking and where the drink is coming from.
● Confront rumors or evidence of drugging – perpetrators use silence and secrecy to commit assaults
● Help anyone who seems like they may have been drugged.
● Go out with and stay with friends – perpetrators isolate the victim to make committing a sexual assault easier.
● If you believe you have been the victim of drug facilitated 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 at (856) 225-6111 or The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance at (856) 225-2326.