Get the facts on drug rape
Drug rape or assault can happen when somebody deliberately spikes your drink or if they take advantage of you when you’re already drunk or drugged up. Anybody regardless of age and/or gender can be the victim of a drug rape or assault. You can be drug raped in bars, nightclubs, parties, social events, on holiday and even at someone’s house.
What to do if you're raped or sexually assaulted
- Don’t blame yourself; the rape was not your fault.
- Are you safe now? If not you may need to ask for help.
- Get medical attention right away. Visit a doctor or a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and to have any physical injuries treated.
- Tell someone you trust, even if you were abused in the past but never spoke about it.
- If you decide to report the rape or sexual assault to the Gardai or police, do not wash until after you have had a forensic medical examination because important forensic evidence might be washed away.
- The National 24 Helpline 1800 77 88 88 is available to anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. The telephone counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, to listen, provide information or direct you to your nearest rape crisis centre where they can organise counselling if that’s what you want.
- There are Rape Crisis Centres throughout the country where you can speak to someone confidentially if you’ve been raped or abused. The centres give support to victims of rape, sexual abuse or child sexual abuse. They will listen, offer support in any way they can, which can include going with you to the Gardai or police and/or to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) for a forensic medical examination.
- If you think you’ve been drug raped ask the medical staff to take a urine sample as soon as possible but remember some drugs can leave your system in as little as 12 hours.
- If you’ve been assaulted or raped (or think you might have been) and choose to report to the Gardai or police, don’t let being drunk or taking drugs deter you for reporting this crime.
- You have the right to ask for a male or female Garda, police officer or doctor.
- When you’re reporting the attack you can ask for as many breaks as you want and leave the station any time you want.
- Reporting a crime means you’ll be asked a lot of detailed questions and should carefully read through your statement when it’s finished to make sure there are no mistakes.
Your feelings after being sexually assaulted
How you react to sexual abuse or rape is different for everyone and it can take time for you to deal with what happened:
- You might feel disbelief, numb, frightened, powerless, ashamed, disgusted with yourself or humiliated.
- You might feel guilty and responsible for what happened or blame yourself for letting it happen.
- You might want to be alone and feel unable to tell anyone that you were sexually abused.
- You might have nightmares or flashbacks about what happened and find it difficult to get involved with anyone else.
- You might self harm or develop addictions to alcohol, drugs or food.
- The effects will vary from person to person because everyone reacts differently to trauma and crisis and sometimes a person will not react in the way they themselves might have expected. Remember there are Rape Crisis Centres throughout the country to listen and offer support.
Staff at Rape Crisis Centres can help you work through yourfeelings. The National 24 Hour Helpline 1800 77 8888 offer a confidential, listening and support service for women and men who have been raped, sexually assaulted, or sexually abused at any time in their lives.
Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.