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CMHC Voices Against Violence
Risk Reduction and Self Protection

(512) 471-3515
Student Services Building - 5th Floor

If there is immediate danger, call 911.

Risk Reduction

Many incidents of sexual violence are unavoidable. More than eighty percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the survivor. Regardless of previous training and preparation, some people will face situations where sexual assault is going to occur. Sexual assault survivors DO NOT share any responsibility for the crime with the offender. With these facts in mind, the following are a few suggestions that could help reduce the risk for a sexual assault. Please know that these suggestions may have to be adjusted according to the person's culture and/or the specific situation. The bottom line in all of these situations is to trust your instincts.

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Predatory Drugs

Predatory drugs are those drugs that may be used by one person to "prey" upon an unsuspecting victim. They include (but are not limited to) drugs such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, and GHB that are usually slipped into the victim's drink without her/his/hir knowledge by a predator who plans to capitalize on the drug's properties to commit a sexual assault. Because these drugs often result in some level of amnesia, the victim frequently has little to no memory of what happened and who is responsible for the crime. Alcohol, in and of itself, may also be a predatory drug and is the substance most often used to commit sexual assault.

What can you do to protect yourself?

(The following recommendations come from The Bacchus Network brochure, "Predatory Drugs," 2006)
  • Don't leave your drink unattended at the table or bar while you are dancing, talking with friends, or in the bathroom, etc.
  • Only drink from un-opened bottles or cans, or drinks that you've seen poured.
  • Avoid "group" drinks. Punch bowls, or containers that are "passed around," are the easiest to drug.
  • If you notice something is wrong with your drink - there seems to be some powder on the glass or it has a funny taste (esp. salty or bitter) - throw it away immediately.
  • If you suddenly feel really tired or really drunk and you don't know why because you haven't had that much to drink, you may be feeling the effects of a drug.
  • Tell someone you trust immediately. The key is to get to a safe place. Tell someone what you think has happened to you, and tell them that you need their help or medical attention.
  • Watch each other's drinks. If someone gets up and leaves and can't take their drink, keep an eye on it for them.
  • If your friend looks drunk or ready to pass out, don't assume "everything will be OK." Check to see if they are all right.
  • If you came together, leave together. Don't leave a friend behind. If someone tells you, "She's upstairs sleeping, don't worry about it," go find out. Don't leave without someone unless you know for sure.
  • If you see someone dosing someone's drink, or hear about a "drugged" punch bowl, confront the behavior. Warn the people they are trying to drug. Later, turn the predator in to public safety or student affairs.

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You have a right to be safe at The University of Texas at Austin.

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