Date Rape - - 2003-08-08 10:21:48
In many cases of rape and sexual abuse, the predator is a man the woman knows or is dating. This is commonly called Date Rape or Acquaintance Rape. Date rape and acquaintance rape are the most common types of rape committed.
Most people still think of rape as a random attack, happening in dark corners at night or in empty parking lots. Although this is a tragic reality for some women, the majorities of rapes occur when there is some degree of trust. Yet, less then 5% of date rapes are ever reported.
One of the reasons may be the fact that blaming the victim seems to be a prevalent reaction to date rape:"If she agreed to go to his house, she asked for it."
Self-blame and shame is also a recurring feeling that prevents many women from reporting the rape. When a woman knows her assailant, her feelings of self-blame, isolation, and distress may be particularly increased as she is often reluctant to discuss her feelings for fear that she may not be believed. Long-term consequences of date rape often include fear of intimacy, difficulty establishing trusting relationships, and anger. These reactions can last from months to years after the assault.
What To Do If You Experience Acquaintance Rape:
Tell someone. Go to a friend's or any place where you can get emotional support, or call a rape hotline.
Go to a doctor or hospital for treatment of injuries and for tests that could be important evidence. Do not bathe, shower or change clothes before you go.
It's your decision about whether to report the rape.
Seek counseling, either at the Counseling Center, Rape Crisis Center, or with a private therapist.
How to Help Prevent Acquaintance Rape:
Meet at a public place until you know someone well. Do not leave a bar, party, concert or game with someone you just met.
Do not drink to excess or get high.
Assume control of the date and take care of yourself. Carry enough money to get home on your own.
Think about your own sexual limits; decide how far you want to go before you go out on a date. Be aware of the stereotypes that prevent you from acting the way you want to.
Recognize when someone intrudes on your limits, and communicate clearly that intrusion is not acceptable.