Acquaintance Rape

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Running Head: ACQUAINTANCE RAPE

Acquaintance Rape: It Could Happen To Anyone

Abstract
Anyone can be a victim of acquaintance rape. It does not matter if the victim is male or female, old or young; it can still happen. Just by being at a party full of friends or even going on a date with a significant other, everyone is at risk. It is never the victims fault. There is no possible way to know when or to whom it will happen.

Acquaintance Rape: It Could Happen To Anyone
We are taught “don’t get raped”, rather than “don’t rape.” Rape is defined as an act of sexual intercourse without legal consent (Harrison, 1996, p. 1). The word rape is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning to steal, seize, or carry away (Katz & Mazur, 1979, p. 10). There is more than one type of rape; they are all considered rape, but by different standards. For example, acquaintance rape refers to rape by a person known to the victim. Statutory rape means that one of the parties involved is under the “age of consent”, which varies from the ages of 14 all the way up to 20. Rape by deception is getting the victim to agree under false pretenses. Regardless of which type it may be, it is all considered rape. In America, a rape occurs every six minutes (Keller, 1996, p. 312). Rape is rape, whether it is by a complete stranger or by someone known to the victim. There are some common questions people think about when discussing the topic of rape, such as: How can I tell who is a rapist and who is not? What kinds of people get raped? Do the victims know their attackers or are they strangers? Can men get raped? Are women rapists too? Who is to blame, the victim or the attacker? Is it still rape if I am in a relationship with the person? Why are women the weaker or ‘safer’ target? Is rape justifiable? Do they deserve it? How can we eliminate rape? Unfortunately, there is no way to tell who is a rapist and who is not just by looking at the person. It could be a boyfriend, a teacher, a friend, a classmate, or even just someone who lives next door. Even though there is no way to physically determine who is a rapist and who is not, there are certain behaviors that they portray that can make it easier to spot them. One of the main goals of the attacker is to increase the victim’s vulnerability. If the victim is vulnerable then she will be easier to control. The attackers use the vulnerability to their advantage; they may manipulate the victim to be alone with them, in which case it would be easier to rape them. Because of her personal relationship with the attacker, however casual, it often takes a woman longer to perceive an action as rape when it involved a man she knows than it does when a stranger assaults her.

Acquaintance rape could happen to anyone. There is not a certain type of person that gets raped. Many people believe that women who wear provocative, or revealing, attire or women that are a “tease” are more likely to get raped than people who dress and act more modestly. A “tease”, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it. But the truth is, it does not matter what the victim is wearing or the manner in which they are acting it can still happen. When most people hear the word rape, it is believed to be by a big guy in an alley that is going to rape and beat them. Just by going to a friend’s house or going to a party surrounded by peers there is a greater risk of getting raped there than by a random stranger on the street. Most acquaintance rapes happen on college campuses, thirty-eight percent of women who had been raped were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of their assaults (Warshaw & Koss, 1988, p. 117). In a survey of 32 college campuses, 1 in 4 women surveyed were victims of rape or attempted rape. Of those raped, eighty-four percent knew their attacker (Warshaw & Koss, 1988, p. 11). Men and women are four times...
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