What Is DFSA?
Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) involves the administration of an anesthesia-type drug to render a victim physically incapacitated or helpless and thus incapable of giving or withholding consent. Victims may be unconscious during all or parts of the sexual assault and, upon regaining consciousness, may experience so-called anterograde amnesia - the inability to recall events that occurred while under the influence of the drug.
There are no conclusive estimates as to the number of drug-facilitated sexual assaults that occur each year. However, the Ottawa Police and other law enforcement agencies report that the number of such assaults appears to be increasing.
As problematic, many drug-facilitated sexual assaults are not reported. Victims often are reluctant to report incidents because of a sense of embarrassment, guilt, or perceived responsibility, or because they lack specific recall of the assault. Moreover, most of the drugs typically used to commit sexual assaults are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, thereby rendering them undetectable in routine urine and blood drug screenings.