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Need help and support?

If you or someone you know is in need of help after sexual violence, contact your local sexual violence program (sometimes referred to as a rape crisis center)

Your local program provides free and confidential support and advocacy. Here are several of the services they may offer to you:

  • Speak with a trained rape crisis counselor 24/7—they are there to listen and offer information
  • Meet you at a hospital or medical center so that you can receive medical attention and if you choose to have an evidence collection exam
  • Assist you with filing for a restraining order, if you choose to do so
  • Talk with you about what you can do to feel safer after an assault
  • Connect you with counseling or legal services

Your local program is there to provide you important information and resources. It is a place for you to talk about how you feel and what you need to begin to heal.

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Read our latest newsletter: February 2017.

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Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

Signs you have been drugged
Common Drugs
Protecting Yourself
If you are a victim
More Resources

Picture this: You wake up groggy and disorientated. You may be in a strange place or in your own home. The last thing you remember is being at a party with friends. You think you may have been sexually assaulted. You are panicked because, no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember the last several hours, how you got where you are, if you were sexually assaulted, or who assaulted you.

This may seem like something out of a made-for TV movie, but incidents like this happen frequently throughout the United States. Situations such as the one described above can be the result of drugs sometimes called “date rape drugs.” This name is misleading because the circumstances in which these drugs are used often do NOT involve a dating situation. The drugs are often used by strangers or casual acquaintances, but they may be used by someone you know and trust. They are increasingly used in child sexual assaults. These drugs are generally colorless, have an indistinct odor and taste, and can render you helpless within minutes.

Signs you may have been drugged

  • You feel more intoxicated than your normal response to the amount of alcohol you consumed.
  • You wake up feeling extremely hung-over and can’t account for a period of time.
  • One of the last things you remember is taking a drink, but what happened after that is blank.
  • It feels like you had sex but you have no memory of it.
  • You feel as though you’ve been sexually assaulted but you can’t recall any or all of the incident.
  • You have unexplained memory loss with or without flashes of memory.
  • You are missing clothes and don’t know why.
  • You have injuries with no memory of how they were obtained.

Commonly Used Rape Drugs

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used rape drug! At least half of all acquaintance sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the victim, or most commonly, both.
  • Rohypnol: Generally in tablet form. Once dissolved in a drink it is odorless. It may make the drink appear cloudy or release small floating bits.
  • Ketamine: A veterinary medicine produced in liquid and powder form. It is also known as Special K.

Avoiding Date Rape Drugs

  • Don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance.
  • Never leave your drink unattended (even while you’re dancing or in the bathroom.)
  • Watch the bartender pour your drink and carry it yourself.
  • Don’t drink from containers passed around, or from punch bowls.
  • Bring your own drinks to parties and open them yourself. Don’t share or exchange drinks with anyone.

What to do if you are a victim

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Ask someone you trust to stay with you and assist you in getting help.
  • Get a sample of the beverage if you can.
  • Contact your local crisis center for information on your options and support.
  • Call 911 to report the incident to police, even if you aren’t sure what happened.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. Unless you are a minor, the hospital staff won’t report sexual assault to the police without your consent.
  • Request that the hospital take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing.

More Resources:   

Special thanks:  This page was adapted from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence website.

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