Drug-assisted sexual assault is giving a drug to a victim that makes them no longer able to give or withhold consent for any sexual activity. A sex assault involves any touching for a sexual purpose — such as intercourse, fondling, kissing, and oral sex — that a person does not agree to or is able to agree to.

These assaults may take place in bars or at parties. Suspects are often “knight-in-shining-armour” types, who act like heroes, and tend to be charming and well-spoken.

What to Do if You Think You May Have Been Sexually Assaulted

You may feel reluctant to report your sex assault because you were drinking or taking drugs, and you feel guilty or partly to blame. You might not remember many details to positively identify a suspect or even say with certainty that you were sexually assaulted. Perhaps there has been a time delay.

If you don’t feel ready or you don’t want to make a police report, we urge you to get any medical help you may need. If you choose to make a police report, we can potentially arrest the suspect and prevent it from happening to someone else. There are different options available to report a sex assault, including having someone else make the report for you.

See Report a Sex Crime for all of your options.

You are never to blame for being sexually assaulted.

Sexual Assault Indicators:

  • soreness of the anal or genital area
  • marks or bruises on the skin
  • a discharge
  • waking up in different or unknown surroundings
  • clothes off, missing or rearranged

If You Think You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted:

  • Talk to an adult you trust
  • Go to the hospital as soon as possible
  • Ask for blood and urine samples to be taken
  • Don’t shower
  • Call the police as soon as possible
  • Keep any clothing you were wearing and don’t wash them

Signs and Symptoms You May Have Been Drugged:

  • sudden light headedness
  • feeling paralyzed or powerless
  • waking up confused
  • severe headaches, vomiting
  • scattered or no memory
  • intoxication with minimal alcohol
  • acting out uncontrollably
  • heightened sex drive
  • hallucinations, loss of consciousness

Types of Drugs Often Used:

  • Rohypnol
  • GHB (Gamma hydroxy-butyrate)
  • Ketamine
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Foxy Methoxy
  • amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepanes
  • opiates
  • cold or heart medication


Since most of these drugs are in liquids, it’s important to get your own drinks and open any bottled drinks for yourself. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know, and never take sips from open bottles or drinks from punch bowls. Never leave a drink unattended and IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT.

Suspects often target intoxicated victims. Beware of people trying to get you to drink a lot of alcohol.

Friends looking out for each other can often be the key to preventing drug-assisted sex assault.

Advice for Friends:

  • have a plan to stay together before you go
  • always go to parties and clubs as a pair or in groups
  • stay together, watch each other and your drinks
  • don’t let a friend out of eye shot with a new guy
  • leave if you or your friend feels ill or drunk for no reason
  • leave with your friend if their behaviour becomes unusual or they appear intoxicated
  • go to your local hospital if you feel ill
  • some drugs make a person become passive and it may look like your friend is leaving voluntarily with someone they just met – leaving with a person is not an agreement to have sex
  • don’t let a friend leave with a stranger, especially if they feel intoxicated or unwell

Contact Us

Sex Crimes Unit

Call 911 to report a recent assault.

Call 604-717-3321 to report an historical assault.

Hospitals that Conduct Sexual Assault Exams

Victim Support Organizations

Vancouver Police Department Victim Services Unit
2120 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4N6
Telephone: 604-717-2737
Email: vpd.vsu@vpd.ca

Regular office hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 24-hour on-scene crisis response at police request.

WAVAW – Woman Against Violence Against Women

Family Services of Greater Vancouver Victim Services

Victim Link

Vancouver Rape Relief and Woman’s Shelter

BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault

Crisis Centre (Crisis Centre Service for Youth)

Vancouver Coastal Health

Cameray Centre – Child and Youth Specialized Victim Support Program

Youth Clinics

Youth Clinics offer confidential sexual health, mental health and general clinic services for youth up to age 24.

South Community Health Centre

Broadway Youth Resouce Centre

Qmunity Centre

Pacific Spirit Community Health Centre

Three Bridges Community Health Centre