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Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA)

Drug facilitated sexual assault is the act of utilizing alcohol and/or drugs to incapacitate a victim in order to commit nonconsensual sexual acts.  Alcohol and/or any drug can be used as a date rape drug, depending on the dose. DFSA Bottles

  • Due to the potential intoxication some drugs may produce, a victim will typically report they were:
    • Not feeling “right”
    • Awake and were aware of what was happening, but were unable to move
    • Sleep walking – experienced altered levels of consciousness
    • Remembering only fragments of the evening – “flashbulb memories”
    • Nauseous, dizzy and/or agitated
    • Not consuming alcohol
    • Unsure they had sex
    • Not sure how they got to the location they woke up in
    • Missing clothing
    • Certain that the amount alcohol they voluntarily drank was not enough to cause the level of sedation or control that they experienced.

Statements, similar to those above from a victim may indicate that DFSA testing should take place.

Some drugs have had a blue dye added to the pill – ask the victim if their beverage was the wrong color.

Some drugs can taste salty or soapy if they are not pure – ask the victim if their beverage tasted strange.

  • Collect a blood and urine sample in each case prior to the SARS exam.  BCA evidence collection kits should be utilized for obtaining these samples.
    • If the victim self-collected a urine sample, submit it with the evidentiary sample for testing and create a chain of custody.
  • If a search is made of the premises where the victim was, consider looking for and collecting:
    • Liquor bottles
    • Prescription and over the counter bottles
    • Drinking glasses
    • Used Kleenex
    • Used feminine products

The investigation should drive the testing.  If your agency suspects that drugs were used to facilitate a sexual assault, please submit a copy of your agency report along with the toxicology samples.