Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) Information

What is Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault? 

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) or attempted assault occurs when substances are used to decrease an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity, sometimes without the person’s knowledge. Although many substances can be used in DFSA, the most common is alcohol. Alcohol may be used alone or in combination with other substances.

What Are the Possible Signs of a DFSA?

There are many substances that can be used in a DFSA. Below are possible symptoms one may experience. It’s important to remember this list is not all encompassing, as individuals react to substances differently. If you have concerns that you or a friend may be in immediate danger or need immediate medical support please call UMPD: 301-405-3333 (on/near campus) or 911 (off campus). 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling drunk when consuming little to no alcohol
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Nausea
  • Sudden body temperature changes signaled by sweating or teeth chattering
  • Sudden increase in dizziness, disorientation and blurred vision
  • Waking up with no memory or missing large portions of memory

(taken from RAINN.org)

 

Where Can I Get Help?

Many substances used in DFSA may leave the body within 24 hours on average depending on the substance, therefore it’s important to be tested as soon as possible. If you would like to be tested there are resources to help. If you don’t believe you were a victim of sexual assault, or attempted assault, but believe you were still given a substance without your knowledge, you can still be tested:

CARE to Stop Violence - CARE is a confidential resource for survivors of power-based violence on UMD’s campus (Health Center) and can arrange free testing at the Health Center. You can also make an appointment to speak with an advocate. 

  • CARE can be reached on the 24/7 (Fall and Spring) crisis line at: 301-741-3442 or email uhc-care@umd.edu. When reaching out, alert CARE you believe you may have been drugged and would like to get testing through the Health Center. (CARE does not provide walk-in services). 
  • The Health Center is only able to provide testing for GHB and Rohypnol. Please note, the Health Center does not provide testing after hours, University holidays or weekends.

UM Capital Region Health DV/SAC Largo (formally PG County Hospital) - medical staff can provide free drug testing, however this will require a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) for evidence collection. You can reach out to the hospital for additional information on their 24/7 hotline: 240-677-2337

 

Other Resources: 

University Reporting (no disciplinary sanctions are associated with reporting; drug or alcohol education may be required): 

Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM)

Office of Student Conduct

UMPD

 

Educational and Counseling Resources:

CARE Educational Services

Health Promotion and Wellness Services

CARE Therapy and Advocacy Services

SUIT

Counseling Center

 

We understand this can be a stressful, scary and uncertain time. Please know that DFSA is never the fault of the survivor and the Health Center is here to offer support for healing in any way we can.