Sexual assault includes any type of sexual activity to which an individual does not agree. Because of the effects of some drugs, commonly called date rape drugs, victims may be physically helpless, unable to refuse, or even unable to remember what happened. Jessica, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, expresses concern to the school nurse practitioner that she knows someone who might have had sex “without knowing it.” How can the nurse practitioner answer these common questions?
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1. What are date rape drugs and how can a person be unaware that such a drug has been ingested?
2. What can you do to protect yourself?
3. What do you do if you think you have been sexually assaulted?
4. What can you do when someone you care about has been sexually assaulted?
5. What role does a nurse practitioner play in the care of sexually assaulted patients, particularly in the adolescent age group?