Violence against women and drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA): A review of the main drugs

Elsevier, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 74, August 2020
Costa Y.R.D.S., Lavorato S.N., Baldin J.J.C.M.D.C.
Sexual violence is a universal phenomenon without restriction to sex, age, ethnicity or social class that causes devastating effects in the physical and mental health spheres, in the short-term and long-term, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and greater susceptibility to psychiatric symptoms, especially depression. Some cases of sexual assault and rape are based on the use of so-called drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), which cause victims’ loss of consciousness and inability to defend, making them vulnerable to violence. Thus, this article aimed to review the literature on gender violence and the drugs used to facilitate sexual assault, addressing their mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics, as well as drug detection times in human body and types of forensic identification. It is understood that the knowledge of these drugs and their pharmacological and diagnostic mechanisms should be widely disseminated, especially about sensitivity tests and the time the drug remains in the body, which would validate the promotion of evidence to prove abuse, and, thus, being able to give a promising outcome to cases of aggression, which is extremely beneficial for women.