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Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Drug-facilitated sexual assault refers to nonconsensual sexual acts while victims are incapacitated or unconscious due to the effects of a chemical agent. Victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault may experience confusion, dizziness, psychomotor impairment, drowsiness, impaired judgment, reduced inhibitions, or slurred speech. According to Guidelines for Medico-Legal Care for Victims of Sexual Violence,8 victims may—

  • Think they have been assaulted, but are not sure.
  • May feel their level of intoxication does not match the amount of alcohol they consumed.
  • Have unexplained injuries, particularly genital injuries.
  • Have unexplained loss or rearrangement of clothing.

Because victims' recall may be sketchy, their uncertainty about what happened may result in an unwillingness to report to law enforcement or to provide samples for forensic analysis.9

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