Sexual assault is any sexual contact made without consent. Consent must be freely given with overt words or actions that clearly communicate an individual’s desire to engage in sexual activities. Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of a no. Consent cannot legally be obtained if an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs, is unconscious or asleep, or has limited mental capacity. Examples of sexual assault include unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, or penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with a finger, penis or object.
Sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator and not the fault of the victim. Whether or not the victim has been drinking is irrelevant. The victim’s previous sexual activities, behaviors, actions, and/or dress is irrelevant. No one deserves to be the victim of sexual assault.
If you have been victimized, you are not alone. There are resources available to help you.
What to do after a sexual assault
Alcohol and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault
Alcohol is the most common drug used by perpetrators to facilitate sexual assault. Most drugs used to facilitate sexual assault leave the body within 24 to 72 hours, so if you want to get a drug test it is important to do it as soon as possible after the assault has occurred. If you aren’t able to get tested in time, you can still file sexual assault report if you wish.
For drug testing and/or examination after a sexual assault, contact:
UnityPoint Health - Meriter Forensic Nurse Examiners Program
202 S. Park Street
Emergency Department entrance
Most drugs used to facilitate sexual assault fall in one of these categories:
- sedatives: make you feel weak or knock you unconscious
- dissociative drugs: make you feel disconnected from or unable to control your body
- hallucinogens: make you hallucinate and disoriented
- drugs that cause amnesia
These drugs take away your control so that the perpetrator is the one in charge of the situation. In certain doses, any drug can be used in a sexual assault, including alcohol, marijuana, Ecstasy, as well as drugs commonly thought of to be used to facilitate sexual assault including GHB, Rohypnol, Clonazepam, ketamine, and chloral hydrate.
Responsible Action Guidelines
Don't let underage drinking keep you from seeking help or helping a friend.
UW-Madison has adopted the Responsible Action Guidelines, which protect victims and witnesses of sexual assault and/or violent crime from disciplinary action, even if they are under the influence of alcohol and less than 21 years of age.