Acquaintance rape or date rape is an offense when someone is threatened or forced to have unwanted sexual activity by a person they know. The culprit could be a classmate, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a neighbor, or a co-worker. The crime may include unwanted sexual touch and/ or penetration. This kind of rape can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The victim often won’t seek help or tell anybody about it because they don’t recognize the experience as rape. Moreover, they may feel betrayed, ashamed, guilty, and frightened.
According to the Department of Justice, victims of sexual attacks knew the assailants 91% of the time. As much as 46% of sexually active college females reported experiencing unwanted intercourse. There is no single solution to avoiding acquaintance rape, and everyone needs to know it can happen with anyone.
The following tips may help prevent acquaintance/date rape.
Be Clear About What You Want
- Decide your sexual limits and let them be known to your partner in clear terms.
- You have every right to change your mind, but remember that your partner only knows what you tell them.
- Trust your gut feelings and get out of the situation if your date acts in a way that makes you uneasy.
- When you say “No,” say it clearly, like you mean it. If you are ignored, it is your right to get angry.
Be Alert And Take Precautions
- Check out a blind date or a first date with friends.
- Meet at a public place when you’re yet getting to know someone. Going to a secluded place or an empty apartment will put you in a vulnerable position.
- Be cautious of people who are domineering, hostile or act jealous.
- Take your own car and carry some cash for using a public phone or hire a taxi in case of some emergency.
- You must not leave a social event with a person you have just met or who you don’t know well.
- Giving someone a ride or accepting one (whether you know the person or not) is risky.
- Do not let alcohol or other drugs make you too dull to take care of yourself.
- If the person you are dating becomes intoxicated, end the date early.
- Don’t hesitate to make a noise and create a scene to get out of a dangerous or troubling situation.
- Have an agreement with a relative or friend that you may call them at any time and they’ll come and take you with no questions asked.
- Take a self-defense course to boost your confidence and skills. Learn to act assertively, and attack forcefully if and when needed.
Remember these things…
- If you force someone for sex, you are committing a crime. The use of force for having sex is a crime even if they flirted or led you on. It’s a crime even if they had sex with you before, or agreed to have sex with you but then changed their mind.
- You must stop in your tracks if someone says no, whether you think they mean it or not. NO means NO.
- Don’t assume things and don’t think you know better what a person wants at a certain time. Ask them and give them time to decide. Do not press them.
- Keep in mind that your ability to make good decisions is lessened when you’re drunk or high.
If your partner or date is not sober enough to give consent for sex and you coerce them—that is still rape.
6 Things To Do In Case of Sexual Assault
- Since every rape situation is different, only you can decide which actions are appropriate in a given situation. Here are some tips that may help you to escape from a potential rape.
- Look for possible distractions and take the potential attacker’s mind off of you. That moment of distraction might afford you the time to escape or seek help.
- Consider passive resistance like urinating, vomiting or telling the attacker that you have an STD so as to scare them off.
- Use your voice and scream. Shout, “I’m being attacked! Somebody call 911, please!”
- Hit the attacker at vulnerable target areas like eyes, nose, neck, ribs, groin, knees, and instep.
- Know and use your effective weapons—fists, fingernails, head, teeth, elbows, knees, and feet.
What To Do After An Acquaintance Rape
Do not take a shower or change clothes. Also, keep in mind that date rape drugs can’t be detected after you have urinated.
Call 911 emergency service immediately and report the rape to the authorities. They will recommend you to be examined by a medical professional who will keep the records to support the case.
Keep the crime scene intact and don’t disturb it by straightening up or cleaning. Keep all the things as they are.
Seek the help of a rape crisis counselor, or contact a hospital, mental health center, or a trusted friend for emotional support.
If Victim Is Some Family Or Friend
- Support them with all the essential follow-up, such as calling the police, contacting a hotline, or going to the hospital.
- Listen to them carefully, don’t assume things.
- Give comfort to the victim. Let them know that they are not alone and they are not to blame.
Info About Date Rape Drugs
GHB and Rohypnol are called “date rape” drugs since they can be easily slipped into your drink and a sexual assault can happen without your consent or knowledge. When these drugs are mixed in a drink, they are orderless, colorless and sometimes even tasteless.
Street names of this drug include liquid X, G-juice, vita-G, scoop, or saltwater and it can cause quick sedation. The effects of GHB are nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, coma, and even death. In its most common form, it is a clear liquid, though it can also be a grainy, white powder.
This drug is also known as roopies, roofies, the forget pills, and circles. It works like a tranquilizer and causes muscle weakness, slurred speech, fatigue, and loss of motor coordination and judgment that usually lasts up to 24 hours. It looks like an aspirin — small, round and white.
Things To Keep In Mind
- Be careful while having drinks with someone you don’t know well.
- Be wary of drinks exchange and don’t leave your drink unattended.
- Don’t have a drink that has an unusual taste or appearance (for example, excessive foam, salty taste, unexplained residue).
- When you go to a party or visit a bar, appoint a designated “sober” individual and check up on each other after every few minutes or so. If one of your friends looks very intoxicated, passes out, appears to be having difficulty breathing, or behaves in an unusual way, take action. Call 911 for emergency help.