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Stop the Violence

The Invisible Rapist
Author: Mayra Cervantes

When teens go out to parties, they just want to have 
fun and hang out with their friends. But since date 
rape is becoming a big problem, teens need to ask 
themselves, “Did anybody place something in my drink?”
In recent years this new kind of rape threat has 
reared its ugly head at parties, on campuses and in 
nightclubs and it starts with someone slipping a so-
called “predator” or “date rape” drug into another 
person’s drink without them knowing it. 
Date rape drugs may incapacitate you to the point of 
getting amnesia-like symptoms and can physically 
paralyze you. Technically, they are any substance that 
renders you incapable of saying no or asserting 
yourself and can be used to commit rape. This can 
include things like alcohol, marijuana or other street 
drugs, designer or club drugs like ecstasy, over-the-
counter sleeping pills and antihistamines, even cold 
medications. However, the term “date rape drug” 
usually applies to the drugs Rohypnol, Gamma Hydroxy 
Butyrate (GHB) and Ketamine Hydrochloride. 
How do you know if you have been drugged with a date 
rape drug? 
You may have been drugged if…
- You feel a lot more intoxicated than your usual 
  response to the amount of alcohol you consumed. 
- You feel intoxicated and you had NO alcohol, but did 
  drink something. 
- You wake up feeling confused, experiencing memory 
  lapse and cannot account for a period of time. 
- You wake up in a hotel room or stranger’s apartment 
  or home. 
- You took a drink but can’t remember what happened to
  you after you drank it. 
- You feel that someone had sex with you, but you 
  can’t remember any or the entire incident. 
If it happens to you, do not keep quiet. By keeping 
quiet you’re making yourself feel worse. Keep in mind 
it’s never your fault. Tell someone you trust. You 
might need medical attention (emotional, psychological 
or physical). Talk to a counselor for support. Your 
emotional and physical health is important. Believe in 
yourself. No one invites, causes or deserves to be 
sexually assaulted. What happened to you is a criminal 
offense. You are not to blame. 
If you think you may be a victim, try to collect a 
urine sample in a clean container during the first 24 
hours after the assault. (This may be your only 
evidence linking the drug to the crime -- as the drug 
will show up in your urine.) Don’t destroy any of the 
evidence by showering or washing. Report the incident 
to the police, your local rape crisis center, or the 
hospital emergency department. 
Don’t Be A Victim 
Here are some tips to avoid getting drugged:
- Do not accept open drinks at parties, especially 
  from strangers. This also includes any soft drink.
- If you’re drinking from a bottle or can, open it 
- Never leave your drink unattended. 
- If you ask someone to watch it, make sure it is 
  someone you trust. 
- Never go out to a bar, party or social event alone. 
- Have a buddy system with your friends every time you
  go out. 
- Go with a trustworthy friend or a group of friends 
  who will care for you. 
- Don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste, or 
  appearance (salty taste, has excessive foam, or 
- Never mix drugs and alcohol.
- Stay sober. Alcohol and drugs can put you off guard  
  and off-balance. 
- Never leave a party with someone you just met. 
- Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel right about
  the situation you’re in, just leave. It’s better to
  be a little embarrassed than to be a victim of a 
  sexual assault. 
- Call your parents or another adult or friend who 
  will come get you, no questions asked. 
Remember that date rape is not your fault. There are a 
lot of people here to help. Following is a list of 
places you can call for help if you think you’ve been 
Youth Services 
24-hour Crisis Line
Santa Cruz 831-425-0771
Watsonville 831-728-2226
Women’s Crisis Support/Defensa de Mujeres
24-hour Crisis Line
Watsonville 831-685-3737
Walnut Avenue Women’s Center
24-hour Crisis Line
Santa Cruz 831-866-2myally (831-866-2692)
Pajaro Valley Prevention Student Assistance
Watsonville 831-728-6445