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Date Rape

By | November 2008
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Date Rape on College Campuses

Date rape is a controversial and ambiguous crime. There has been a huge debate regarding the definition and importance of date rape in the past twenty years. Most of us think of “date rape” as a specific type of acquaintance rape, in the sense that a more defined relationship exists between the two parties than in the case of two routine acquaintances (Allison and Wrightsman 1993). Most people who commit rape, however; are people known to their victims. They may be friends, neighbors, classmates, or dates (Gedatus 2000). Date rape is a problem on college campuses and individuals need to be aware of the situations they put themselves in.

In date rape, the rapist and victim may know each other casually-having met through a common activity, mutual friend, at a party, as students in the same class, or even a blind date. Or they might have a closer relationship- as steady dates of former sexual partners. Although largely a hidden phenomenon because it is the least reported type of rape, many organizations, counselors, and social researchers agree that date rape is the most prevalent rape crime today. Government estimates find that anywhere from three to ten rapes are committed for every one rape reported. While rapes by strangers are still underreported, rapes by acquaintances are virtually not reported. Yet, based on intake observations made by staff at various rape counseling centers, seventy to eighty percent of all rape crimes are from date rape (Warshaw 1988). Various estimates show that fifty to ninety percent of victims do not report date rape to police (Gedatus 2000).

Date rape often occurs at different times from rapes by acquaintances or strangers. Date rape, in particular, is more likely to occur on a weekend, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. They are also more likely to be at isolated locations, in a car, or at the home of the assailant. They may last much longer-sometimes four hours or more. The factors may...

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