Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?

Last updated on October 21, 2020

man spiking woman's drink

What is Date Rape?

Date rape refers to non-consensual sexual activity that occurs between acquainted parties who are out on a date.

While the relationship of the parties does not define the crime, more often than not, victims of date rape know their perpetrators personally.

This article will cover:

What is Drink Spiking?

Drink spiking is the deliberate act of adding mind-altering substances like drugs to your beverages without your knowledge. This includes adding more alcohol to a drink so that you achieve a more intoxicated state within a shorter time.

In date rape cases, perpetrators often resort to drink spiking to render you defenceless. As you become disoriented or weakened, it makes it easier for them to overpower you and coerce you into sexual activity. They may also take advantage of your vulnerability to commit other crimes like robbery.

Not being aware of the dangers you are in may leave you with unbearable and suffocating bouts of uncertainty and fear, so it is helpful to know how to recognise if you have been violated and what to do if you have been.

What to Do If You Suspect that Your Drink Has Been Spiked

Identifying possible symptoms

You may have heard of some of the following drugs which are commonly used in date rape cases, namely:

  • Rohypnol or “Roofies”
  • Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) or “Liquid Ecstasy”
  • Ketamine or “Special K”

While some drugs like Rohypnol may have a bitter or weird taste that would immediately alert you, many other drugs do not have distinct properties. This means that they often go unnoticed until their full effects have kicked in.

For example, drugs like GHB or Ketamine are colourless, odourless and tasteless and can leave you incapacitated within minutes of consumption. Hence, it is important to be able to spot some of the common symptoms of drug intoxication.

Many a time, these effects entail symptoms like:

  • Heightened waves of emotions, e.g. euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Visual problems, e.g. slurring of speech
  • Loss of balance
  • Reduced muscle control and thus, an inability to move

Differentiating between Drug Intoxication and Drunkenness 

As mentioned earlier, drink spiking is not limited to slipping drugs into your drinks. Perpetrators may also mix more alcohol into your drinks or may simply pass drinks to you continuously. What follows is a hazy memory with no knowledge of what happened.

The listed symptoms above may frequently be confused for those of drunkenness but telling signs that you have been drugged can range from feeling drunk despite drinking less than your usual tolerance level, to an inability to recall the previous night’s events.

For example, these are the two main differences between the effects of taking alcohol and the drug Dormicum, with regard to the rate at which both substances take effect:

  1. A single Dormicum tablet is sufficient to induce short-term memory loss, needing only 30-60 minutes for effects to kick in. If dissolved in water, Dormicum needs only 15 minutes to take effect. In contrast, for alcohol to induce the same effect, it needs to be consumed in large quantities within an hour.
  2. While alcohol intoxication happens gradually, consuming Dormicum mixed with alcohol would present an immediate effect. This means that you may be rendered unconscious suddenly, or may experience an abrupt change in demeanour.

Steps to Take If You Suspect You Have Been Raped

Signs you might have been raped

  • Your clothes are worn wrongly or are torn, and you don’t know why
  • You are not clothed, despite not remembering taking them off
  • Unexplainable bruises or injuries
  • Soreness or pain in your genital region

Immediate steps

Your safety comes first. Thus, if you find yourself feeling like something is amiss, do not dismiss your suspicions. Ensure that you are in a safe place away from your perpetrator and reach out to trusted people like your family and the police for help.

Commencing legal proceedings

You may file a police report any time after the incident, but time is of the essence at this juncture as most date rape drugs leave your body within 24-72 hours upon consumption.

Medical forensic examinations, otherwise known as “rape kits”, are only conducted once a police report has been filed.

To give you an idea of what to expect, the Singapore Police Force lays out its clear and thorough procedure in handling all sexual assault cases:

  • Filing a Police Report
    • An officer trained in victim care will help you with your police report, before interviewing privately. Your identity remains protected.
  • Taking of Statement
    • An investigating officer (IO) who is specially trained in handling sexual assault cases will record your statement.
    • If needed, emotional support is available at your request.
  • Forensic Medical Examination
    • You will be brought to OneSAFE Centre where trained professionals will look for and record any injuries. They may also collect potential evidence like hair and clothing samples.

After you file a police report, the police will begin investigations which could eventually lead to a trial.

Any evidence collected, like the results of your blood test and your clothing from the day of the incident, will be vital to your case. For example, DNA found on your clothes may link the perpetrator to their deeds, and your blood or urine test could bear evidence of drugs in your system.

Related Offences and Penalties

Needless to say, date rape is illegal.

For one, the possession of certain drugs alone can already constitute an offence. Ketamine and HBA are “controlled” drugs and possession of such drugs is strictly prohibited in Singapore, bringing about our strictest punishments like long jail terms, and even capital punishment.

There are also various sexual offences that could come into play for a date rape case:

Offence Punishment
Sexual Assault involving penetration Jail term of up to 20 years, and fine or caning
Rape Jail term of up to 20 years, and fine or caning
Administering Drugs with the intention to rape Jail term of 8 to 20 years, and caning for at least 12 strokes

It is worth noting that the court seeks to deal out the fairest punishment and adjusts a perpetrator’s sentence in accordance with varying aggravating and mitigating factors.

Aggravating factors warrant the court granting a harsher sentence. This includes the occurrence of repeat offences and the vulnerability of victims.

In the case of Public Prosecutor v Azuar Bin Ahamad, the accused, Azuar, had relied on the drug, Dormicum (containing the active ingredient, Midazolam) to subdue his victims. When sentencing Azuar, the court took his blatant disregard for his victims’ health into consideration as he risked overdosing them with Dormicum.

It also did not benefit Azuar that his offences appeared to be premeditated, meaning that he had invested plenty of thought into his actions.

He also recorded the violation of his victims, which implied that he intended to keep the recordings for repeated viewing or for sharing.

Another aggravating factor was that Azuar had previously committed similar offences and fell back into his old ways within 21 months of his release from prison.

On the other hand, mitigating factors give perpetrators the chance to receive lighter sentences.

Two such factors that the court considered in Azuar Bin Ahamad‘s case was his admission to the charges and the alleged lower harm done to the victims.

However, the court felt that the Azuar’s admission to the charges bore no genuine remorse or guilt, inciting a heavier penalty.

The court also considered reducing the sentence on the account that his victims had been unconscious, which the accused had argued would have subjected his victims to less psychological pain and trauma.

However, the court eventually decided that the mere knowledge of being drugged and raped would be abundantly traumatic to any victim, and that it simply was not sufficient in justifying a lighter sentence for the accused.

All these factors combined made it certain that Azuar would receive severe punishments, with little chance of leniency. The court ultimately convicted him to a total jail term of 37 years and 6 months, and 24 strokes of the cane.

Date rape victims are often left with overwhelming shame or guilt, which may deter them from seeking professional help. However, it is imperative to remember that in such situations, you are not alone and that your safety comes first.

If you suspect that someone may have spiked your drink and that you may have been sexually assaulted afterwards, contact the police and seek immediate medical help. Their first and utmost priority is helping you.

If you require further assistance or legal advice, do not hesitate to reach out to any of our criminal lawyers.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  2. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  5. Is Lying to the Police or Authorities an Offence in Singapore?
  6. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  9. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  10. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  11. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
  12. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  13. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  14. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  2. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  3. What is Private Prosecution?
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Criminal Records in Singapore
  6. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
Criminal Proceedings
  1. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
  2. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
  5. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  6. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  7. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  8. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  9. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  10. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  11. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  12. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  13. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  14. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  15. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  16. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  17. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
  18. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  19. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  20. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  21. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
  22. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
Sexual Offences
  1. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  2. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  3. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  4. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  5. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  6. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  7. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  8. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
  9. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  10. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  2. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  4. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  5. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  6. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  7. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  8. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  5. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  2. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  3. Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
  4. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  6. What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
  7. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
  8. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  9. Penalties for Unlawful Assembly and Rioting in Singapore
  10. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  11. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  12. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
  13. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  14. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  15. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  16. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  17. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  18. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  19. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  20. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
  21. Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
  22. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
  23. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
  24. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  25. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  26. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
  27. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  28. Vandalism: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
  29. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
  30. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  31. Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
  32. Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?