What to do if it happens to you
The first step in dealing with drug-facilitated sexual assault is simply recognizing it has happened. If you wake up with no memory or a blurred memory, there are a few signs that might help you tell if you’ve been assaulted.
A few signs…
- You were not drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Your muscles are sore
- You have bruises or other signs of sexual assault
- You have been undressed, or your clothes are ripped, missing or stained
See a doctor…
If you’re sure or seriously suspect that you have been drugged and sexually assaulted, you should see a doctor right away. In many circumstances doctors aren’t required to report sexual assault. It’s usually up to the victim to decide if they want to press charges.
- You may want to see a doctor or pharmacist for emergency contraception (the “morning-after” Pill) to prevent pregnancy.
- You may want to get tested for STIs or pregnancy. There are also ways to reduce the risk of getting STIs if you have been raped.
- You may want to ask about speaking with a counselor of psychologist.
To report the assault…
You may want to report the assault to police. This is a very difficult and personal decision that each person has to make on their own. But if you are going to report the assault, it is best to do it soon, while there is still evidence. You should call the police who will arrange for you to see a doctor right away. You should also:
- Try not to urinate: If drugging is suspected, your urine may be tested for traces of the drugs, which may pass through your body very quickly.
- Do not douche or shower: Forensic evidence such as semen may be lost by douching or showering.
- Do not wash the clothes you were wearing during the assault.
- Do not disturb physical evidence.
- If you think you were drugged and still have a cup or bottle that you were drinking from, bring it with you to the police to be tested for drugs.
The police understand that, sometimes, it’s not in your best interest to press charges. They don’t want to make you a further victim by forcing an investigation and trial. Typically, unless you are under 16 or are still in danger, you won’t have to press charges if you don’t want to. Even if you do decide to press charges, you will often be able to drop the charges even after an investigation has begun. If you don’t want to press charges, police may also offer to just warn the person who committed the sexual assault to try to stop them from doing it again in the future.
If you were drugged (or just think that you were drugged) at a bar, restaurant or other public place, you may be able to anonymously report it to Crime Stoppers or the police, so that they can investigate the location.