date-rape-drug-straw

 

What is date rape?

Date rape is a form of acquaintance rape, meaning you know the person in some kind of way and/or there has been a romantic or potentially sexual relationship between the parties involved. Date rape may also happen between acquaintances, were the two persons have never been involved romantically or sexually(co-workers, classmates, friends, neighbours, etc.)

Date rape is very frequent in college campuses and clubs or bars, where there is frequent use of alcohol and other date rape drugs; situations where drug facilitated sexual assault can be smoothly executed.

 

Date rape drugs

 

  • Alcohol

 

The drug most used to facilitate sexual assault and rape is alcohol. 90% of date rape cases occur when the victim is drunk. It is maybe one of the most overlooked but the most dangerous because usually the victim consumes it voluntarily.

 

Alcohol decreases awareness and senses and may lower your ability to resist sexual advancements and/or aggressive behavior.

 

  • Z-drugs - Zolpidem

 

Z-drugs are effects similar to benzodiazepines, which are used in the treatment of insomnia. In short, they are sleeping pills (Ambien, Stilnox).

 

They are quickly becoming the sedative of choice as they are more accessible due to written prescriptions, legal to posses and they can mix very well with drinks due to their lack of taste. Zolpidem (Ambien) is one of the most common date-rape drugs according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

  • Benzodiazepines

 

Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers such as Valium, Librium and Xanax and they usually are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia and many other conditions. Unfortunately these drugs are also used recreationally and many women are sexual assaulted or raped while under the influence of these drugs.

 

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) is believed to be the most commonly used in drug facilitated sexual assault in the United States, the United Kingdom, and throughout Europe, Asia and South America.

 

Although similar to Valium, Rohypnol is 10 times more powerful and is known to cause temporary amnesia, muscle relaxation, sleep and to impair motor skills.

 

It intensifies the effects of alcohol and other drugs(Heroine).

 

  • GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate)

 

GHB is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a clear, odorless liquid that looks like water, making it very dangerous as it can be added to a beverage without the person knowing it.

 

GHB is used recreationally to stimulate euphoria and hallucinations, to increase sociability and is also known as liquid ecstasy, G, or soap. It is sold under names such as Liquid E and Liquid X.

 

GHB is probably one of the most dangerous date rape drugs and used in small doses. Its effects may be:

 

  • Feeling affectionate and playful.
  • Mild loss of inhibition.
  • Increased sensuality.
  • Enhanced sexual feelings.

 

Tips to protect yourself

 

  1. Avoid becoming intoxicated in public, clubs, bars or at parties.
  2. Avoid parties or groups where alcohol or drug use is excessive. Studies have shown that 75% of the date-rapists, and 55% of the victims, had been drinking or taking drugs before the rape occurred.
  3. Do not leave your cup unattended. If you’ve lost sight of your drink, do not consume it any more.
  4. Don't share drinks and don't drink from punch bowls or open containers.
  5. Don’t give out your personal information.
  6. Trust your instincts. If a situation or a person doesn’t feel right, walk away.
  7. Make your sexual and relationship boundaries clear.
  8. Don’t forget that consent to sexual activity can be withdrawn at any time.
  9. Be very carefull if a person/date tends to negate your opinions and feelings (For example: “You don’t mean that”)
  10. Be assertive with anyone who ignores your personal boundaries.
  11. If on a date, observe how your date treats service staff.
  12. If you feel uncomfortable on a date or the date did not go as well and have to go home, call a cab if you do not have transportation.
  13. Consider dating with another couple or with friends around. Especially if you don’t yet fully know the person.
  14. Always let someone know where you are and your exact itinerary.
  15. Use the “buddy system”. Always try to go out with a friend if possible and keep an eye on each other.
  16. Avoid being alone with persons that ignore your space or push boundaries.
  17. Don’t go alone to hotel room or the apartment of someone you just met or you are not sure about.
  18. Don’t be afraid to react violent or loudly if a situation feels uncomfortable.
  19. Don’t be afraid to use force if the situation requires it.
  20. Don’t allow others to engage in sexual behavior with someone that is highly intoxicated.
  21. How to tell if you have been drugged and/or raped

 

 How to tell if you have been drugged and/or raped

 

  1. If you feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol or you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
  2. If you wake up feeling more hungover than usual, disoriented and have no memory of a period of time.
  3. If you remember having a drink, but have no memory after that.
  4. Your clothes are torn or not on right.
  5. If you feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember it.

 

 What to do if you think you’ve been drugged and/or raped

 

  1. Urgently get medical care. Call 911(America) or 000(Australia) and go to a hospital emergency room. Don’t pee, shower or brush your teeth, change your clothes. All of these things may be evidence and the hospital will collect it to use it.
  2. Call the police from the hospital or make sure the hospital has contacted them. Remember that consuming alcohol or even drugs is not a reason for someone to do this and does not justify the rape.
  3. Ask the hospital to take a urine sample and test it for date rape drugs. Remember to not go to the bathroom before you go to the hospital. Many drugs stay in the system just a few hours.
  4. Don’t clean up where the rape may have happened.
  5. Get help! Go to counseling and get treatment as it may help you work out the emotions, feelings of shame, guilt, fear and shock. A counselor will help you with the healing process.