Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Date Rape: A Serious Crime Of Power

By Darlene Redinger (Kosciusko County Mental Health Association)

When you read in the news that a woman was raped, what do you think of? Do you envision a stranger in a dark alley attacking an unknown female? Well, you couldn't be further from the truth.

The truth is, 80% or more of rapes are committed by an assailant known to the victim. RAPE is not a crime of passion, it's about power, control and anger.

The actual definition of rape is NO plus SEX equals rape. It's that simple. If the female says no and the male continues with sex, that is rape and it goes the same if the male says no. Date rape or acquaintance rape is the most common form of rape. Drugs and alcohol are contributing factors in many date rapes. Having sex with someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime, punishable by prison time! if a person is unable to say no due to drugs or alcohol, it is always rape.

Females ages 16 to 25 are most at risk of date or acquaintance rape. Experts state date rape may account for as much as 78% of all reported rapes, although rape is a hugely underreported crime.

Unlike rape involving a stranger, date rapists typically use psychological pressure or physical strength to press for sex, instead of weapons, or threats of violence. Rape is planned, hours or even days before the attack. Rapists frequently choose their victim and "groom" them. Grooming involves paying attention to a girl he normally would not spend time with, becoming friendly and attentive, until the right moment when the rapist is ready to act.

Date rape drugs like Rohypnol (roofies) and Gamma Butyrolactone (GHB) and Ketamine (street names: Special K or Vitamin K) are easy to obtain, cost very little, and have no taste, odor, or color. Additionally, they dissolve quickly and leave no trace. it is easy to palm the drug and drop it into an open drink as it is transferred from one person to another. The victim may not even realize he or she was given drugs! Under the influence of a date rape drug, the victim will do whatever they are told to do without complaint and won't remember a thing the next day!

A major cause of date rape is lack of consideration of a woman's rights and wishes. If she says, "NO", it means NO. Some men feel if they spend money on a date, they are "entitled" to sex or, if she is sexually active, she should have sex with him.

Some men are sexually aggressive because they are basically insecure. Forcing sex on someone makes them feel in control. Rape is violence toward women. Date rape is a serious crime and it involves a betrayal of trust. It's effects can leave lifetime emotional scars. As with all rapes, it is important for the victim to remember it is not her or his fault, no one asks or deserves to be raped.

How can you protect yourself from date rape? Examine your feelings about sex and make a decision about sex before you go out. Make your feelings clear, don't give mixed messages. If things get out of hand, don't be afraid to cause a scene, scream, yell and resist if you can and the person does not have a weapon. Socialize with people who share your values, go to parties in groups and keep an eye on your friends. set boundaries and enforce them.

When you are out on a date, never accept an open drink from anyone, always keep complete control over your drink. If you leave it unattended, get a fresh one. Trust your gut instinct, if you feel the situation is dangerous, get out. Never leave without the friends you came with. Don't leave group situations, keep an eye on the friends you came with and watch out for each other. If a friend is missing, find her. If a friend tells you she was raped, believe her.

If you or a friend is raped or you think you have been raped, do not shower, change clothes, brush your teeth or hair, eat or drink anything and do go to the hospital. If you think you might have been given a date rape drug, ask for blood tests to be run. No one asks or deserves to be raped.

Article courtesy of- The Paper. Reprinted with permission, from the October 27th, 2004 issue.

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-27 years training in personal safety -Multiple martial arts black belts -Multiple instructor certifications -Certified law enforcement trainer -Crime Prevention Specialist -Previous self-defense trainer for one of the country's largest airlines -Child safety specialist -Certified Fitness Trainer -TACTIX Fitness Trainer -High Intensity Training Specialist -FAST Defense Instructor -Kid Escape Instructor
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