Print this page Email this page
Users Online: 55
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Contacts Login 


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-89

Date rape: A study on drug-facilitated sexual assaults in Imphal


Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India

Date of Web Publication18-Sep-2014

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thounaojam Meera
Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.141087

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 

Background: Date rape is a type of acquaintance rape wherein non-consensual sex occurs between two people who are in a romantic relationship. The aim of the present study was to find out the pattern of date rape cases in Imphal. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was carried out in our center on all the cases of alleged sexual assault cases during the period of 7 years, i.e., from 2007 to 2013. A case of sexual assault where the victim and the offender are or have been in some of personal social relationship has been considered as a case of date rape. A detailed study of the history given by the police and the victim, and the medical examination findings was carried out and the findings were analyzed. Results: Out of the total 210 cases of alleged sexual assault cases, 17 (8%) were date rape victims. Most of the victims of date rape were Meitei girls below the age of 20 years (70.5%), and 58.8% of these cases were assaulted in the afternoon and 52.9% of the assaults occurred in restaurants. The history of consumption of beverage in the form of alcohol offered by the perpetrator was present in 52.9% of the cases. Conclusion: The true incidence of such cases may be higher than identified because of non-reporting. The exact type of the drug/agent used in some of the cases could not be established because of delayed reporting and untimely collection of samples. The spread of consciousness of date rape among the young girls is indeed a need of the hour. They may be advised to be cautious and avoid suspicious food or drinks.

Keywords: Acquaintance, Alcohol, Drug, Date rape, Sexual assault


How to cite this article:
Singh SB, Meera T, Singh TB. Date rape: A study on drug-facilitated sexual assaults in Imphal. J Med Soc 2014;28:86-9

How to cite this URL:
Singh SB, Meera T, Singh TB. Date rape: A study on drug-facilitated sexual assaults in Imphal. J Med Soc [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 May 29];28:86-9. Available from: http://www.jmedsoc.org/text.asp?2014/28/2/86/141087


  Introduction Top


Date rape is a type of acquaintance rape wherein non-consensual sex occurs between the two people who are in a romantic relationship. It is also described as a type of sexual assault where the victim and the offender are in, or have been in, some form of personal social relationship, ranging from a first date to an established relationship. [1] Even though commonly termed "date rape" by the mass media, it is termed "drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA)" in scientific literatures and these two terms are often used synonymously. [2] Any drug that can affect judgement and behaviour can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is the most common "drug" implicated in sexual assault, but there are increasing reports of use of a range of prescription and non-prescription drugs to induce disinhibition or sedation and amnesia of the victim. [3],[4] According to the National Crime Bureau reports (2012), rape is the fastest growing crime in India and has increased by 902% over 1971 to 2012. [5] Date rape is considered a curse of the Western world and instances of date rape are steadily rising in India; however, the exact statistics is not available. The present study has been carried out in our centre to find out the incidence and pattern of date rape cases in Imphal.


  Materials and Methods Top


A retrospective study on all the victims of alleged sexual assault brought for examination during 2007 to 2013 was carried out in our center. A thorough analysis of the history given by the police, victims, and examination findings was done. A case of sexual assault where the victim and the offender are in, or have been in, some form of personal relationship, ranging from a first date to an established relationship; and drugs/alcohol/any agent have been used to incapacitate and to facilitate the assault have been considered as a case of date rape. The findings of the study were statistically analyzed.


  Results Top


It is observed from [Figure 1] that, out of the total 210 alleged sexual assault cases, 8% were constituted by date rape cases. [Table 1] shows that 11. 6% and 13.4% of the alleged sexual assault cases in the years 2012 and 2013 were date rape cases and till the year 2009, no cases of date rape were reported. A total of 70.5% of the victims were Meitei girls below the age of 20 years [Figure 2] and [Figure 3] and 82.3% of them were school or college going students [Figure 4]. Most of these assaults occurred in the afternoon or in the early evening, i.e., 88.2% [Figure 5]. [Figure 6] shows that 52.9% of the cases occurred in hotels or dimly lit restaurants and 17.6% occurred in a common friend's house. Alcohol was used in 52.9% and suspected inhalant anaesthetic was used in 23.5% of the assaults [Figure 7].
Figure 1: Showing the total number of date rape cases

Click here to view
Figure 2: Showing age of the victims in years

Click here to view
Figure 3: Showing the caste distribution of the victims

Click here to view
Figure 4: Showing the occupation of the victims

Click here to view
Figure 5: Showing the time of occurrence

Click here to view
Figure 6: Showing the place of occurrence

Click here to view
Figure 7: Showing the type of the agent used in the assault

Click here to view
Table 1: Showing year-wise distribution of alleged sexual assault and date rape cases

Click here to view



  Discussion Top


Sexual assault by an acquaintance, such as date rape, can be traumatic because it involves a breach of trust. [6] It can be more destructive and humiliating when the victim has lost the ability to offer resistance, i.e., under the influence of drugs or alcohol. [7] The total number of alleged rape cases have increased during the past few years in the state. Till the year 2009, no cases of date rape were reported. The years 2012 (11.6%) and 2013 (6.7%) observed higher number of date rape cases compared to previous years. This may be favourably compared with the findings of Hurley M et al.[8] and Doandeu A et al.[9] who observed an increase trend in the date rape cases during the past 10 years. Adolescents and young adults are four times more likely than women in other age-groups to be victims. [10] McGregor M et al.[11] observed that women aged 15-19 years have the highest risk of experiencing this type of sexual assault, i.e., DFSA. Ricket VI et al.[12] also observed that adolescent females and young adult women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in other age-groups, usually by an acquaintance or date. Similarly, majority of the victims in the present study were school-or college-going teenaged Meitei girls. The higher number of Meitei victims could be explained by the Meitei dominance of the local populace. The British crime survey observed that such sexual assaults are most likely to take place in urban areas, over the weekend and at night. [13] In contrast to these findings, in the state of Manipur where there is minimal night life, 58.8% of the cases occurred in the afternoon and 29.4% occurred in the early evening.

It has been reported that cases of alleged DFSA take place most commonly at the assailant's address (62%), victim's address (22%) or in the clubs and pubs (10%), and others (6%). [14] Interestingly, in the present study, most of the assaults occurred in hotels and in dimly lit restaurants.

Some of the warning signs that a drug-facilitated sexual assault are [15]:

  1. If the victim recalls having a drink but cannot recall what happened for a period of time after consuming the drink.
  2. If the victim suspects that sexual contact has taken place but cannot remember details.
  3. If the victim wakes up feeling hung over and experiences memory lapse or cannot account for a period of time.


Although flunitrazepam has been maligned as a "date rape drug," many substances have been used to facilitate sexual assault, viz., alcohol, alprazolam, chloral hydrate, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), ketamine, lorazepam, etc. [9],[16] In this study, alcohol was used in 52.9% of the cases and 17.6% gave the history of loss of consciousness after the consumption of some beverages. The criminal use of an inhalant anesthetic agent like chloroform has been reported by Payne JP. [17] In this study, 23.5% of the cases gave history of unconsciousness after they sniffed a cloth/handkerchief. However, the exact agent used could not be established because of late reporting. Timely collection of biological specimens is crucial and delay in specimen collection may severely hamper the toxicological and prosecutorial outcome of the investigation. [2] The victim should be urged not to urinate until the specimen can be properly collected and collection of 100ml of urine and 30 ml of blood (within the past 24 hours) in sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate is recommended. [18]


  Conclusion Top


Some people consider date rape as a direct cultural import from the West. The true incidence of such cases may be higher than identified because of non-reporting. The exact type of the drug/agent used in some of the cases could not be established because of delayed reporting and untimely collection of samples. The spread of consciousness of date rape among the young girls is indeed a need of the hour. They may be advised to be cautious and avoid suspicious food or drinks. More importantly, awareness of early reporting will help in the administration of justice in such crimes.

 
  References Top

1.White ribbon. Australia′s campaign to stop violence against women. Available from: http://www.whiteribbon.org.au [Last accessed on 2013 Aug 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Kerrigan S. Drug-facilitated sexual assault: Fact and fiction. Clinical and Forensic Toxicology news. Sept 2000:1-4. Available from: http://www.aacc.org/publications/toxicology [Last accessed on 2013 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Anglin D, Spears KL, Hutson HR. Flunitrazepam and its involvement in date or acquaintance rape. Acad Emerg Med 1997;4:323-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Jamieson MA. Rohypnol gamma hydroxybutyrate, and drug rape. J Soc Obstet Gynaecol Can 2001;23:38-42.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.National Crime Reports Bureau Report 2012, Available from: http://ncrb.gov.in [Last accessed on 2013 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Frazier PA, Scales LM. Acquaintance rape is real rape in M. Schwartz (ed.), Researching violence against women: Methodological and personal perspectives, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California; 1997. p. 54-64.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Drug facilitated sexual assault: Rohypnol and GHB, IACP Training key, no. 509 1999. Available from: www.theiacp.org [Last accessed on 2013 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Hurley M, Parker H, Wells D. The epedemilogy of drug facilitated sexual assault. J Clin Forensic Med 2006;13:181-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Doandeu A, Pages C, Sordino M, Pépin G, Baccino E, Kintz P. A case in south eastern France: A review of drug facilitated sexual assault in European and English speaking countries. J Clin Forensic Med 2006;13:253-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Petter LM, Whitehill DL. Management of female sexual assault. Am Fam Physician 1998;58:920-30.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.McGregor MJ, Ericksen J, Ronald LA, Janssen PA, Van Vliet A, Schulzer M. Rising incidence of hospital reported drug facilitated sexual assault in a large urban community in Canada: Retrospective population based study. Can J Public Health 2004;95:441-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Rickert VI, Vaughan RD, Wienmann CM. Adolescent dating violence and date rape. Obst & Gynaecol 2002;14:495-500.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Myhill A, Allen J. Rape and sexual assault on women: The extent and nature of the problem, Home office Research study No.237, London 2002. Available from: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk [Last accessed on 2013 May 19].  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Ruparel C. The nature of rape of females in the Metopolitan police District, Home Office Findings 247.2004 Available from: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk [Last accessed on 2013 Mar 18].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.Rape treatment center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, California. Available from: http://www.911rape.org [Last accessed on 2013 Aug 20].   Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.McGregor MJ, Lipowska M, Shah S, Du Mont J, De Siato C. An exploratory analysis of suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault seen in a hospital emergency department. Women Health 2003; 37:71-80.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.Payne JP. The criminal use of chloroform. Anaesthesia 1998;53:685-90.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.LeBeau M, Andollo W, Hearn WL. Recommendations for toxicological investigations of drug facilitated sexual assaults. J Forensic Sci 1999;44:227-30.  Back to cited text no. 18
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Materials and Me...
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed4430    
    Printed58    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded289    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]