Sexual Violence & Substance Abuse

Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods that are harmful to the individual or others. It is a form of substance-related disorder. Differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases, criminal or anti-social behavior occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, the use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties, although these vary widely depending on the local jurisdiction.

Sexual Violence and Substance Abuse

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempts to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim. It occurs in times of peace and armed conflict situations, is widespread and is one of the most traumatic, pervasive, and most common human rights violations.

What is the Correlation Between Sexual Violence and Substance Abuse?

The relationship between violence exposure and substance abuse is well established. Sexual assault and substance abuse are frequently intertwined for several reasons. First, drugs and alcohol may be used to facilitate sexual assault. Second, the trauma of being a victim of sexual abuse or assault may lead to the use of drugs or alcohol to cope. Finally, suffering from addiction may place an individual at a greater risk of becoming a victim of an assault. In addition to rape and date rape, child molestation and coercive or violent sex within relationships plague society.

Who are the Likely Victims of Sexual Violence?

Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) is any act of sexual assault that occurs while a victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can involve a perpetrator giving a victim drugs with the intention to assault the person or a perpetrator taking advantage of an already intoxicated victim. While most sexual assaults involve male perpetrators and female victims, this is not always the case. Many sexual assault victims know their offenders. Approximately 4 out of every 5 sexual assaults are committed by someone close to the victim, such as a spouse, family member, friend, or acquaintance. Alcohol is involved in many drug-facilitated sexual assaults.

Other drugs commonly involved in these assaults include but are not limited to roofies (Rohypnol), ketamine, ecstasy, and GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyric). Victims of DFSA may falsely assume that they did not experience a sexual assault because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person who is intoxicated and does not give consent to participate in sexual activity is a victim of an assault. While sexual assault may involve intercourse, assault is not limited to this one act. Other sexual advances and acts that fall under the umbrella of sexual assault include but are not limited to touching or grabbing that is not wanted/invited, sexual penetration with objects, oral sex, and anal sex.

How Can Garden State Treatment Center Help You?

Females and children have been victims of family violence in most societies and cultures. The use of tobacco, alcohol and narcotic drugs are responsible for aggravating the violence. Incidences of domestic violence are significantly higher in substance abusers than others. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or if you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, we can help you.

Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we are equipped with the best staff, techniques, therapies, medications, and state of the art approaches to help you or a loved one begin the journey of healing. Feelings of denial, shock, anxiety, anger, guilt, and nightmares will only get worse with time if no appropriate treatment plan is placed into action. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you deserve; we are a phone call away.