The term 'drug rape' or 'drug-assisted rape' is used, particularly by the media, to refer to rape or sexual assault that takes place after the perpetrator has administered a drug to his victim, often through a drink and often in a social setting such as a bar or nightclub.
The drug Rohypnol is sometimes referred to as the 'date rape drug' but other drugs, including prescription medication and most often alcohol, can be used to incapacitate women or to try and make them vulnerable to a sexual attack. Drug-assisted rape is most commonly associated with perpetrators who are strangers to their victim(s), or recent acquaintances, but the forced misuse of tranquillisers and other prescribed drugs often takes place in violent relationships and/or is an aspect of the rape of women in their own homes.
Drugs, including alcohol, might have been administered to a woman without her knowledge or consent, or she might have willingly consumed alcohol or drugs. Regardless of the circumstances, 100% of the responsibility for any act of sexual violence lies with its perpetrator. There is no excuse for sexual violence – it can never be justified, it can never be explained away and there is no context in which it is valid, understandable or acceptable.
If a woman or girl is incapacitated through the consumption of drugs or alcohol, she is unable to consent to sex. Sex without consent is rape.
What are the effects of drug rape?
Reactions to different drugs will vary from individual to individual and different drugs will have different typical effects.
Some drugs might make a woman physically incapacitated / unable to move or speak, some might result in short- or long-term memory loss and some might stimulate sexual response. The effects of drug rape and of being 'spiked' can be extremely frightening.
If you think you have been raped or sexually assaulted with the involvement of drugs and/or alcohol, visit our getting help page for more information.
If you want to report the incident to the police, visit reporting to the police.