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I Didn't Know What Was in the Drink

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


I'm 17, and about two years ago I went to my high school's homecoming dance with an older guy from a different school. Afterwards we left and went to a party at the house of a friend of his. He offered me a drink, and I didn't know what it was...I assumed there was alcohol in it, so I only took a few small sips (I figured it wouldn't matter since it was literally only a sip or two). However, everything started spinning, so I left with him, and that's all I remember.

I found out after the fact that we had had sex. I don't remember that and if I had been fully aware I would have said no. Somehow I got home and my parents didn't find out what had happened. The guy actually totaled the car after dropping me off, and I could have been killed if I was still in the passenger seat.

I never told my parents because I shouldn't have been at the party in the first place, and I shouldn't have drunk something when I didn't know what it was. They would be mad, and I don't want to get the guy in trouble even though what he did really hurt me.

I was only 15 at the time. I was inexperienced and I didn't know how to handle the situation. I choose not to deal with it for a long time because I felt like there was nothing I could do. However I realize now that it really affected me, especially in terms of relationships and trust. I guess what I want to know is where do I go from here?

Signed: I Didn't Know What Was in the Drink

Dear I Didn't Know What Was in the Drink,


It is quite possible that your parent might react with anger initially if you told them what had happened. Once they realize the gravity of the situation and that you were victimized they most likely will want to protect and help you.

The boy that took you to the party sexually assaulted you and could be sent to jail if he was prosecuted. He purposely drugged you so that you would be defenseless against his sexual advances. You mentioned “if I had been fully aware I would have said no.” It is very important to recognize that you were impaired and unable to give consent. Anytime there is a situation where one person is legally impaired, whether it was through their own actions or the actions of another person, that person cannot give consent. Having sex with a person who is not able to give consent is viewed as sexual assault under the law. Not only that but this boy’s recklessness behind the wheel also put your life in danger. The important thing to remember is that you did nothing to deserve what happened to you. This young man is totally to blame for his actions toward you and chances are that this is not the first time he committed date rape.

Now that you are recognizing the emotional impact this event had on you it is time to reach out for some professional counseling. It would be a good idea if possible to let your parents know what has happened to you. Living with this horrible secret has to be very hard and it would be easier to live in an environment where you did not have to hide your pain. Whatever their initial reaction it will be much different once they have a chance for it to sink in. They will have to come to terms with the fact that someone seriously harmed their daughter. From there your parents can seek out the appropriate treatment for you and themselves. Frequently parents need input from professionals on how to best be supportive of their child as well as dealing other issues that may arise for them. There are many mental health professionals and support groups that work exclusively with people who have been sexually victimized. Difficulty with trust and relationships are two of biggest issues that plague victims of sexual abuse. However with time, support and counseling you can regain your trust in others and be in a healthy, loving relationship.

A therapist can also help you decide if you want to press charges against your attacker. TeenHealthFX recognizes that you do not want to get this boy in trouble but this feeling may change over time. This is a very personal decision and can only be made by you. Once you are able to start processing some of your emotions this decision will be made easier. Some victims want to see their attacker prosecuted and others decide that they do not want to go through the stress of a trial. There is no correct answer you just have to make the decision that is healthiest for you.

If you would like to find out more about sexual trauma or for counseling centers in your area, check out the RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network.)


Signed: TeenHealthFX