Using drugs, including alcohol, to deliberately create a situation in which a person cannot give consent, and then pursue unwanted sexual contact or attention, is substance-facilitated sexual assault. The best way to avoid causing someone harm when they are consuming alcohol and other drugs is to respect their wellbeing, boundaries, wants and needs. You are responsible for not causing harm to others when consuming yourself.
Sometimes people add drugs to alcohol without the consent of the person, or people, drinking it. This is known as spiking. As a friend, event organizer, or community member you might notice that someone is acting as though they have had way more drinks than they have consumed or that they are acting normally but later have no memory of an interaction with someone. Here’s how you can help.
If you are concerned someone may have deliberately incapacitated and/or sexually assaulted you or someone you know, you can connect with confidential, non-judgemental support services at Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) or AMS Sexual Assault Support Center (SASC). It is not your fault and we believe you.
If you are concerned someone has sexuallty assaulted you or someone you know, and you/they would like to seek medical attention, find out about medical options.
If you think incapacitating someone with alcohol or drugging someone is a normal part of sexual activity, you are wrong. This has been normalized by the media and is actually sexual assault, not consent.
Consent to sexual activity requires conscious, not intoxicated, voluntary agreement to engage in that specific sexual activity by those involved.
Belief of Consent is not an excuse if you:
- Believed you had consent due to your own intoxication,
- Knew, or reasonably should have known, the other person was incapacitated, asleep, or unconscious, or
- Knew that, due to the influence of alcohol and/ or other drugs, the other person was unable to fully understand or agree to the sexual activity.
Learn more through the Sexual Consent and Culture of Consent Canvas module or connect with SVPRO to discuss and unpack these beliefs.