Facts About Date Rape


If you are a woman who dates, regardless of your age, you need to know about date rape. Even if you don’t think you are a candidate to be a victim, you should know the facts.

Date rape occurs across all generations, and can affect anyone who is not prepared or that doesn't know what signs to look for to prevent it from happening. Knowledge is the best key to protecting yourself, and those that you love.

Rape is defined as the unwanted and non-consensual sexual advances of a man on a woman, usually involving intercourse. The difference between rape and date rape is that a rape can occur anywhere, anytime, by anyone – whether an acquaintance or an unknown attacker. What we are talking about occurs directly after a woman goes on a date with a man, whom she obviously knows. He may think of it as payment for the date or that she asked for it since she had kissed him earlier. Neither of which is an excuse for this to happen. It can quite often take place at the victim or the attacker’s residence or college dorm room.

Some facts to keep in mind about rape that may surprise you include:

1) Of all the rapes that happen in the United States, over 57% happen after a date.

Sexual intercourse is not repayment for a date, no matter what a man tries to tell you. If you do not want sex after a date, he cannot force you to. Any instance where he does is rape and should be reported to the authorities.

2) More than half of all attacks – 51.8% - take place after midnight.

This seems logical since most dates happen at night after work or on a weekend night. After a night of dinner and dancing or a movie, it is usually late. Roommates or neighbors may be asleep since it is late, thus taking away any assistance to the victim.

3) 16% happen with two or more attackers present.

Often times when dating is involved, so is alcohol. Alcohol can give people additional courage or make them incredibly stupid. Sometimes alcohol makes men act in a “group frenzy” which eggs them on to do stupid things, like force a sexual encounter. Alcohol isn’t an excuse to let a date rape go unpunished, either, whether you were drinking too or not. No means no.

4) Of every 100 women on college campuses, 3.5 will be raped each year.

College campuses have the highest concentration of young and single people, therefore making their numbers higher than the national average. Campus security has special precautions in place such as cameras on buildings, phones set up along walkways and escort services available to women to prevent sexual assaults from happening.

While date rape often occurs on college campuses, it can also happen in any city or town to women who are past, or even too young, for college. Any woman who goes on a date may be a target for a date rape. Many women are unsuspecting because they trust the person they are dating, or else they wouldn’t be dating them. And just because it happened after a date where you willingly spent time with this person does not mean you cannot press charges against them.

If you have been a victim of date rape and didn’t report it to the authorities, you can still get emotional help. Often, the feelings of guilt and remorse by the victim keep the crime from being reported, but these feelings can get worse over time. There is no right or wrong answer for reporting the crime, but you can receive emotional support at any time regardless of the status of the crime. You can call the Suicide and Rape 24-Hour Emergency Services National Hotline at 1-800-333-4444 if you want to discuss it with another person. If you do not, you can visit Rainn.org for information.

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