New Study Released on Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault in the US
Monday, June 12, 2006 4:25 PM

A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that drug use, whether it is willing or unwilling, increases a woman’s risk of sexual assault and that drugs are a common factor among many sexual assaults.

Research showed that of the 62% of sexual assaults reported in the study that involved drugs, 5% of the cases involved the “date-rape” drug, Rohypnol. 35% of the drug-involved sexual assaults in the study involved a victim who was impaired at the time of the assault. Additionally, of the 62% of cases that involved drugs, research showed that more of the cases than not resulted from the willing use of a drug by the victim.

The study was conducted of 144 subjects (sexual assault complainants), age 18 to 56, in four US states: Texas, California, Minnesota, and Washington State. Each of the subjects participated voluntarily in the study and answered a questionnaire regarding their alleged assault and the involvement of any drugs. Each of the subjects was tested for 45 drugs that either have been detected previously in sexual assault victims or that impair judgment. Four in five of the complainants reported knowing their assailant.

Authors of the study concluded that toxicological analysis is greatly needed in sexual assault cases, and in addition, nurses need to be trained in taking truthful drug histories from sexual assaults victims.

Compiled from: "New Study: Drug Use Affects Rates of Sexual Assault," Family Violence Prevention Fund, 9 June 2006;, Accessed 12 June 2006.