Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Rape is often thought of as a horrific crime committed by a stranger that takes place in a dark alley; however, frequently this has not been the case. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Justice, seven in 10 rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault. In the case of college students, this number is drastically higher. Statistics show that 90 percent of college rape victims knew the aggressor prior to the attack.This high figure clearly illustrates the fact that date rape is one of the most prevalent crimes on college campuses. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, date rape, also known as acquaintance rape, “involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know,” either a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.

Even if two people have engaged in sexual relations in the past, consent must be received each time.

As well as being a widespread crime on college campuses, date rape is also one of the most unreported crimes. Despite the abuse and trauma from the situation, victims of date rape do not always identify the experience as “rape.” Instead of reporting the crime, victims often blame themselves.

Also, since the attacker is usually in the victim’s social circle, the victim may have to encounter their attacker after the rape. Fear of these meetings may cause the victim to become increasingly distressed and less likely to report the crime.

In many date rape cases, alcohol is involved. In the case of the assailant, alcohol often lowers inhibitions, brings out aggressive tendencies and can trigger the person to do things that they may not do when sober. If the victim is intoxicated, this can hinder clear judgment and present opportunities of unwanted sexual situations. Also, an intoxicated person is less able to defend themselves and more likely to be taken advantage of.

In addition to alcohol, drugs often play a role in date rape situations. “Date rape drugs” such as Rohypnol, commonly referred to as ‘roofies’ and Gamma- Hydroxybutyrate, known as GHB, can be mixed into a person’s drink. These odorless and tasteless drugs are extremely dangerous and can leave the victim unconscious and vulnerable.

It is important to take the proper precautions in order to defend yourself against the possibility of date rape. There are several helpful hints to keep in mind.

First of all, always trust your instincts; if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, do not spend time alone with them. Avoid any situation in which you are alone with someone you do not trust. Remember, there is safety in numbers. Make an agreement with close friends to watch out for one another while you are out.

In social situations, always order your own drink. Also, never put your drink down and leave it somewhere unattended. If you suspect you have been drugged, leave where you are immediately with a trusted friend and go to the hospital.

If you are out with someone you do not know very well, stay sober enough to be in control and fully aware of what is going on around you. In new relationships, clearly state your personal boundaries. Define the relationship you have with the other person so that each person fully understands what the other person wants and does not want to do. Never allow yourself to give into peer pressure or do something that you are not comfortable with. Finally, never be afraid to ask for help.

Date rape is a serious problem across the country. With the right information and the precautions needed to protect yourself, you will be able to handle yourself should the situation arise.

Janine Fulginiti is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at JF619755@wcupa.edu.

Author profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *