Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

A Drug facilitated assault is when drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent to sexual activity. In addition, drugs and alcohol are often used in order to minimize the resistance and memory of the victim of a sexual assault.

Diminished capacity exists when an individual does not have the capacity to consent. Reasons for this inability to consent include, but are not limited to: sleeping, drugged, passed out, unconscious, mentally incapacitated, etc.

It is important to understand diminished capacity because oftentimes victims of sexual assault in these situations blame themselves because they drank, did drugs, etc. It is essential to emphasize that it is not his or her fault, that the aggressor is the one who took advantage of his or her diminished capacity.

Safety tips for safe drinking:

1. Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the bathroom, or making a phone call.

2. At parties, don't drink from punch bowls or other large common open containers.

3. If someone offers to get you a drink from the bar at the club or party, go with them to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself.

4. Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. Always leave the party or bar together. If a friend seems out of it, is way too drunk for the amount of liquor they have had, or is acting out of character, get them to a safe place immediately.

5. If you think you or a friend has been drugged, you can call:

  • 911
  • The Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team at the Counseling Center (315) 443-4715 or website.  They can provide privileged and confidential support, advocacy, and counseling for survivors of sexual assault and can be accessed 24 hours, seven days a week.
  • Vera House (315) 422-7273 or website.  They are a resource in the Syracuse community that also provides privileged and confidential support and advocacy to survivors.

Alcohol remains the most commonly used chemical in crimes of sexual assault, but there are also substances being used by perpetrators including: Rohypnol, GHB, GBL, Benzodiazepines, Ketamine and Ecstasy.