Date Rape

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Date rape is not a rare incident that only happens in isolated situations. In fact, surveys indicate that in 84% of rape cases, the victim knew the attacker, and 57% of rapes occurred on dates (Warshaw 11). However, what is even more surprising than these high statistics is that most incidents of date rape go unreported. Several theories exist that try to explain this phenomenon. For example, many women may refuse to believe that their "friend" raped them. In fact, they could eventually convince themselves that it never happened. Additionally, there is confusion following the attack in which memory and emotions become mixed up. When alcohol or drugs are involved, the women may have no memory of the attack whatsoever. Even if the victim does remember the attack, they could be left with a sense that they let themselves be taken advantage of. In cases such as this, the victim may blame them self instead of the attacker.
The shame involved in either being battered by or hurting someone we care for makes it hard to tell anyone, even those closest to us. People in abusive relationships often work hard at making it seem as if nothing is wrong. They try to convince themselves and others that "it's not really that bad," or that "it doesn't happen all the time." (Hicks 18)
Additionally, societal perceptions dictate that a woman should know how to set limits, and that they are responsible for their own actions.
Many women, thinking back on their sexual experiences, will respond affirmatively when asked the question "Have you ever had sex with a man when you didn't want to, because he used physical force against you?" but at the same time offer a firm "no" when asked "Have you ever been raped?" (Bender 10-11)
While victims of date rape rarely report the crime, the psychological effects are just as bad as if a stranger raped them. Since fewer women seek counseling or treatment for date rape than for rape by a stranger, the effects can be even more severe.



Cited: Bender, David Date Rape San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998 Hicks, John Dating Violence Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 1996 Lindquist, Scott The Date Rape Prevention Book Naperville: Sourcebooks, 2000 Mufson, Susan Straight Talk About Date Rape New York: Facts On File, 1993 Parrot, Andrea Date Rape & Acquaintance Rape New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 1988 Thornhill, Randy A Natural History of Rape Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000 Warshaw, Robin I Never Called It Rape New York: Harper & Row, 1988

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