Here is a shocking statistic: Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. And one of the biggest problems is the rising use of date rape drugs at parties.
If you're out at a party or bar and someone spikes your drink with Rohypnol, GHB or Ketamine, you don't have a clue.
"They'll introduce that intoxicant while the victim is not looking. Quite often people offer to buy drinks for the victim," observes Lt. Alan Hamilton with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Hamilton says these powerful sedatives are colorless, odorless and tasteless … and can quickly render victims unconscious and completely at the mercy of a sexual predator. He warns that date rape drugs are changing how a growing number of sex crimes are committed.
"You have to be aware that it's not necessarily going to be the individual that's going to try to force you into a car or force you into a dark alley somewhere. What we've now found is that those suspects, those predators, are now moving within social circles," says Hamilton.
Hamilton says college-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other age group.
Diva Kass was a 20-year-old university student when she was raped at a fraternity party.
"Once he'd given me the drink, it felt like I wasn't there anymore. I felt like I was watching the party from sort of the outside even though I was in the middle of it," Diva recalls. "I remember him leading me out of the room. I know some time elapsed, but I just don't remember what happened. I just remember sort of feeling disoriented. And then I heard the door locking behind me. The next thing I really remember is being pinned down on the edge of his bed by him."
Diva was at a party when she was drugged, but Hamilton says more and more rapists are using online dating sites, social media and chat rooms to lure victims into a face-to-face date.
No matter how or where you meet someone, Hamilton stresses that you should always be cautious.
If someone offers you a drink, make sure you've seen exactly where it came from. If you already have a drink, don't leave it unattended – even when you go to the bathroom.
If you're drinking a non-alcoholic beverage but feel drunk, tell someone.
Always let your friends know where you are and who you're with. And if you're out with friends, keep an eye on them. If they're acting drugged or disoriented, don't let them get isolated or leave.
"I knew that I remembered saying 'no' to this person, but in a really strange, nightmare-like way," says Diva. "I did know about rape, but it's definitely one of those things that you think will never happen to you."
If you think you've been drugged or raped, get medical care right away. Call 911 or have a trusted friend take you to a hospital emergency room.
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