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Erowid References Database

Du Mont J, Macdonald S, Rotbard N, Bainbridge D, Asllani E, Smith N, Cohen MM. 
“Drug-facilitated sexual assault in Ontario, Canada: toxicological and DNA findings”. 
J Forensic Leg Med. 2010 Aug 23;17(6):333-8.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine which persons reporting sexual assault to a hospital-based treatment centre may have been covertly drugged and to provide information about whether a sexual assault may have occurred. Each consecutive adolescent and adult presenting at a sexual assault treatment centre was screened for drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). Urine was collected and tested for central nervous system active drugs. Oral, vaginal, and/or rectal swabs were tested for male DNA. Unexpected drugs were defined as those not reported as having been voluntarily consumed within the previous 72 h. Positive swabs for unexpected DNA were determined by whether the person reported having had consensual intercourse in the previous week. A total of 184 of 882 eligible participants met suspected DFSA criteria. Mean age was 25.8 years (SD=8.5), 96.2% were female and 64.7% White. Urine samples were positive for drugs in 44.9% of cases, alcohol in 12.9%, and both drugs and alcohol in 18.0%. The drugs found on toxicological screening were unexpected in 87 of the 135 (64.4%) cases with a positive drug finding and included cannabinoids (40.2%), cocaine (32.2%), amphetamines (13.8%), MDMA (9.2%), ketamine (2.3%), and GHB (1.1%). Male DNA was unexpected in 30 (46.9%) of 64 cases where it was found. Among those persons presenting to a sexual assault treatment centre with a suspicion of DFSA, the presence of unexpected drugs and male DNA was common, lending support for their contention that they had been intentionally drugged and sexually assaulted. Most unexpected drugs found were not those typically described as 'date rape drugs'.
Comments and Responses to this Article
#
earth
Jun 30, 2011 14:10
Major Flaw #

This paper has a major flaw in that it fails to acknowledge that many people lie about their illegal drug use and the authors do not do anything to account for or correct for that sprawling issue.

The abstract includes a conclusion that seems flatly wrong if one is familiar with the subject matter:

"Among those persons presenting to a sexual assault treatment centre with a suspicion of DFSA, the presence of unexpected drugs and male DNA was common, lending support for their contention that they had been intentionally drugged and sexually assaulted. "

The authors define "unexpected drugs" as any drug showing up in a urine screen that the women did not volunteer that they had taken. The vast majority of those "unexpected drug" findings were cannabis and cocaine, two drugs that have essentially zero history of surreptitious drugging.

The concept of "drug facilitated sexual assault" generally involves the forced or surreptitious drugging of an individual. If the authors are discussing voluntary use of drugs that then make (mostly) women more vulnerable to sexual assault, they should say so explicitly and not try to make it seem like all of the drugs people fail to report to their staff were given to the victims.
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