if I was raped? How can I get help?
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, call the 24-hour Rape Crisis
Line to talk with someone who can help. The Rape Crisis Center serves Savannah
and surrounding counties. For help call (912) 233-RAPE in Savannah or 1-888-241-RAPE
toll free. Our trained advocates are available any time of the day or night.
For all other areas call the R.A.I.N.N National Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE to
locate the center nearest you.
What if nobody
The staff at the Rape Crisis Center will believe you. We specialize in dealing
with sexual assault and rape and will not judge you. We will assist you with
any medical, legal or personal issues and provide an open and supportive atmosphere
for you to begin healing.
Could it be my
If someone has forced or intimidated you into unwanted sex, you are not to
blame, and it is not your fault. Even if you were kissing
at the time, even if you have had sex before, you always have the right to
say “NO”. No matter what you were wearing, no matter where you
were, no matter how much you had been drinking. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Victims don’t cause rape, rapists do!
What if I was
drinking? What about Date Rape Drugs?
Just because a person has been drinking or using drugs does not mean they deserve
to be raped or assaulted. Drinking, however, can put you at risk by decreasing
your awareness in dangerous situations. Studies show that 75 percent of all
date and acquaintance rape situations involve the use of drugs and alcohol.
A person who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is UNABLE
to consent to sexual activity. If drugged, it may look to others that the victim
went willingly the with perpetrator and therefore was a willing participant.
Many times, the victim may have left the party/bar with her arm around the
perpetrator (which may look like she is being romantic, but is really because
the drugs often create a loss of motor coordination and balance). When drinking,
be sure to set clear limits.
Alcohol is the most widely used date rape
drug. In acquaintance rapes, alcohol is used by over 70
percent of perpetrators and 50 percent of the victims.
Alcohol is a Central Nervous System depressant. It slows
down brain activity, is quickly absorbed in the blood stream,
and circulates to all parts of the body and to every vital
organ. Other drugs used in drug-induced sexual assault
are Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine, and ecstasy.
Rohypnol, also known as Roofies, Roaches,
La Roache, Poor Man’s Quaalude, R2, Mexican Valium,
and Love Drug, is a benzodiazapam (sedative). It is a powerful
sedative that is used in other countries to treat debilitating
sleep disorders and as a pre-anesthetic before surgery
and medical procedures. Rohypnol is manufactured by Hoffman
La-Roache Pharmaceuticals and is sold in 80 countries.
It is illegal to bring into this country and it is illegal
to manufacture, distribute, or possess it for sale in the
United States. It is a small pill that, when dropped into
a drink, is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Ten to
twenty minutes after ingesting Rohypnol, a person may feel
dizzy, disoriented, too hot, too cold, and/or nauseated.
The peak may come in one to two hours (depending on dosage),
lasting up to 8 to 12 hours, and may not fully wear off
for several days. Other symptoms include, but are not limited
to: confusion, drowsiness, disorientation, difficulty walking,
impaired judgment, decreased blood pressure, lack of inhibition,
dizziness, and complete or partial amnesia of events that
occurred while on the drug.
GHB (Gamma Hydroxybuterate), also know as
G, Grievous Body Harm, Georgia Home Boy, Scoop, and Easy
Lay, is a depressant and was originally developed as an
anesthetic. It was formally sold by health food stores
and gyms as a sleep aid, fat burner and enhancer of muscle
definition and was pulled off the shelves in 1990 because
of bad side effects. GHB acts faster than Rohypnol. Within
five to twenty minutes after oral ingestion, the effects
are felt. The acute symptoms appear to decrease after three
to four hours. If combined with alcohol, the effects may
last 20 to 30 hours and can be fatal. GHB is made from
Gamma Butyl Lactone (solvent for cleaning engines) and
Sodium Hydroxide (lye). It is a clear or yellow liquid
with a bitter taste. GHB has been illegal to import or
possess in the United States since 1996. Effects felt from
GHB include: confusion, drowsiness, loss of motor coordination
and verbal coherence, impaired judgment, memory loss, slower
and deep respiration, decreased heart rate, reduced inhibition,
dizziness, seizures, and coma.
Ketamine, also known as Special K, Vitamin
K, K, Ket, and Cat Valium, is a powerful anesthetic used
as an animal tranquilizer. It is a clear liquid with no
taste, but can be injected or reduced to a powder and sprinkled
on cigarettes or joints. The effects of Ketamine can be
felt within five minutes, and its effects can last for
about one hour. Symptoms include: hallucinations, visual
distortion, impaired motor function, lost of sense of time,
loss of speech, and amnesia.
Ecstasy (MDMA), Methelenedioxymethamphetamine,
also known as X, XTC, Adam, Clarity, and Lover’s
Speed, is similar to the stimulant amphetamine and hallucinogen
mescaline. Ecstasy is ingested in 20 minutes and the effects
last 3 to 6 hours. Chronic use can produce long-term damage
to the serotonin-containing neurons in the brain that regulate
emotion, memory, sleep, pain, and higher-order cognitive
process. Symptoms include: confusion, sleep problems, anxiety,
paranoia, dehydration, depression and increase in heart
rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
To prevent becoming a target for drug induced sexual assault, be sure to set
clear limits and practice the buddy system. Only take drinks from bartenders
or servers in restaurants. Do not leave a drink unattended. Watch out for your
friends and have them watch out for you. Be aware of your surroundings, the
people you are with, and what they are doing. Be alert to the behavior of friends
who may appear to be unusually inebriated in relation to the amount of alcohol
they have consumed. If you think you may have been drugged or suspect that
you have been involved in a drug induced rape, call 911 immediately or go immediately
to the hospital to take a urine sample. The findings of such a test can provide
valuable evidence in a court of law if you with to prosecute the case. The
Drug Induced Rape Prevention Act of 1996 creates additional penalties for perpetrators
who use drugs to facilitate sexual assaults, up to twenty years can be added
to their sentence.
What is Date/Acquaintance
Date/Acquaintance Rape is when someone you know, or someone who is familiar
to you, forces you to have sex with them. It could be a boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend,
or simply someone who you vaguely know or have seen “around”. Regardless
of the relationship, it is against the law!
Should I fight
If you are in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, and you have exhausted
all other options (such as verbally asserting yourself or walking away), fighting
back may be your best alternative. Women who physically fight back often get
out of the situation without being sexually assaulted. However, if you choose
to fight back, be prepared to give it all you’ve got. As a preventive
measure, take a self-defense class. The Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire
offers free self-defense classes to women in the community.