Drink spiking occurs when someone slips alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink, without their knowledge or consent, usually for the purpose of committing a sexual assault. It is a growing problem in all bars and nightclubs, including those serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and two-spirited communities. Drink spiking also happens at private parties and other events as well.
Fight the Crime
It is a serious offence to introduce a drug into the body of another person without their knowledge or consent, especially if the person is assaulted as a result. Sexual predators may literally spike a drink, but sometimes they also keep watch for those who are drunk or high in order to prey on them. Sexually preying on someone who is too drunk or high to know what they are doing or too intoxicated to resist or consent — no matter how they got that way — is sexual assault. If a person is unconscious or their judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs they are unable to give consent to sexual acts. It’s a crime.
Through the SafeVibe campaign we are challenging myths around alcohol and drug facilitated sexual assault, to make bars, clubs, and events uncomfortable for predators — and safe and fun for everyone else.
You Came For a Good Time – You Didn’t Ask to Have your Drink Spiked. You Certainly Didn’t Ask to be Assaulted!
One of the most troubling misconceptions surrounding alcohol and drug facilitated sexual assault is that if you knowingly consumed alcohol or used drugs, then you are somehow responsible or to blame for what happened. This is a myth. Predators who stick close to someone who is extremely intoxicated, knowing they will have an easy target, are not innocent: they are perpetrators of a crime. Consent is not a concern of the predator, nor is the well being or desires of their victim.
Why Do Predators Drink Spike?
Predators spike drinks because it makes their victim easy to assault because it can cause a person to black out, leaving them with little or no memory of what happened, and preventing them from being able to resist. Some of the drugs used can cause a person to lose consciousness completely. In all cases, when someone’s drink has been spiked they are not able to legally consent to sexual acts.
What is Used to Spike Drinks?
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance by predators, either by slipping additional alcohol into a drink, or pushing drinks onto a person, who later may not remember what happened. Prescription drugs are also frequently used including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, muscle relaxants and hypnotics such as Serapax, Valium, and Rohypnol. Rohypnol (or ‘Roofies’) is the most widely known prescription drug used by predators to spike drinks. Ecstasy, LSD, Fantasy (also known as liquid ecstasy or GHB), Ketamine and other party drugs are also known to be used to spike drinks. Often combinations of different substances may be used.
Substances used to spike drinks are often colourless, odourless and tasteless, making them difficult to detect. These drugs, especially when combined with alcohol, can be incapacitating, leaving the victim extremely vulnerable. Depending on the dosage and combination of substances, drink spiking can induce comas and even death.
Who is at Risk?
The majority of drink spiking victims are women between the ages of 15 and 30, but both women and men are at risk. It is estimated that 1 in 5 drink spiking victims are men. This crisis affects everyone who goes to bars, parties and events.
Alcohol and Predators Make a Bad Mix
The drug most often used to facilitate sexual assault is alcohol. Many predators don’t actually take the action of tampering with drinks. They know that sometimes it is enough to watch to see who is consuming a lot of alcohol, or to feed someone drinks, with the intention of getting them past the point where they can resist. What sets predators apart is their intent to do harm, to find ways to force someone to be sexually available to them.