Date Rape/ Acquaintance Rape

Date Rape/ Acquaintance Rape

Sometimes also called “hidden rape”, date rape or acquaintance is sexual intercourse with an unwilling partner without any mutual agreement which is enforced by using or intimidating to use force. In most cases, it’s women and girls who are victims of date rape but, even though on rare occasions, men can also be victims. However, in a considerable number of date rape victims, the act isn’t done by out of the blue strangers rather by people that are well known to the victims socially. Even if the two partners were involved in an intimate relationship before, sexual coercion amounts to rape.
Personal and societal myths about date rape
Regardless of the brutal nature that is connected to date rape, there is the notion that many of the victims of date rape were agreeable in the act and the blame goes back to the victim like a boomerang. There are also many myths that are connected with date rape which are based on baseless ideas. These myths are either viewed from the societal perspective or form the personal perspective. These myths greatly hamper the victims as they try to cope and recuperate from the tragedies.
The following are some the personal and societal myths associated with date rape in contrary to the realities about date rape. One is that victims who don’t defend themselves by fighting back have not been raped while in reality, date rape happens when one is coerced to engage in any sexual activity without considering whether the victim was able, decided to fight back or didn’t. Two, is the myth that date rapists are simple to recognize. On the contrary, date rapists are ‘ordinary’ people from anywhere regardless of background or the age barrier. Third, is the myth that if the victim agrees to go to the attacker’s house or car, that has consented sex. In real sense, being inside the victims place or car isn’t the approval to have sex with the attacker. Fourth, is that if the victim, more so women or girls, have some particular characteristics such as taking alcohol or putting on clothes that are sexually tempting, they should be liable for date rape. However, the fact is that with the utterance consent of the party, there isn’t any characteristic or tempting dressing that should be substituted for sexual summoning.
Fifth, there is the notion that if the person states “No” it actually indicate a “Yes”. Conversely, this is an obsolete stereotype. Sixth, is the idea that the victims cheat about rape date for the reason the reason of the remorse that they get after their consent to intimacy. On the other side, date rape is real and the date rape victims are people who know the perpetrators socially. Seventh, if the victim consents to the attacker’s acts such as paying services, then is obligated for sex. This is a misconception since sex cannot be a substitute for services paid for. The other misconception of date rape is that when the attacker is aroused to a particular level, sex is the only solution and they are unable to restrain themselves from having forceful sex. In contrary, there isn’t any level of sexual arousal that can’t be controlled. There is also the notion that some specific behaviors such as kissing intimately approve sexual activity whereas in reality, any act prior doesn’t necessarily mean approval.
Date rape victims
One can’t foretell who the victims of date rape will be; however, there are some factors that give a higher risk of date rape. For example, there are women who have a traditional perspective on men; as described in American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (1997) article, “views on men occupying a position of dominance and authority relative to women (who are seen as passive and submissive) may be at increased risk. According to this scholarly article, women who have traditional perspectives on rape, have a propensity to view it as justifiable, if they were the ones who proposed the date. According to a research conducted by this article, the date rape victims who had encountered it when on a date or when with an acquaintance were deemed as “safe” victims under the opinion that they won’t perceive it as a rape or inform the concerned authorities.
The second factor is the company that potential victims affiliate them with. Drawing an example from a college, it is evident that where there are both sex groups in which there are men with forceful behaviors towards the opposite sex; the females are in higher risks of themselves being victimized by the aggressive males. However, the familiarity of the location cannot guarantee the victim’s safety as a considerable number of date rapes happen in either the attacker’s place or in the victim’s place.
Date rape perpetrators
It’s hard to point out to the acquaintances that will pull the act. Nevertheless, there are specific factors which enhance the dangers. Date rapists aren’t psychopaths, who stand on their own from the society; however, the urge to commit the offense is seared into the males by the society about what it signifies to male hood, “dominant, aggressive and uncompromising”. Information like that reaches the audience through the media in situations where sexual activity is regarded as a “commodity whose entertainment is the ultimate male challenge…found within the vernacular of sex: “I’m going to make it with her,” “Tonight’s the night I’m going to score,” “she’s never had anything like this before,” “what a piece of meat,” and “She’s afraid to give it up.” (David, 1997).
Even though many people are subjected to this sexually influenced information by the media, it nevertheless never influences one’s sexual perspectives and habits. However, this biased information is affiliated with validation of sexual activity in any situation whatsoever. Forceful sexual altitude, according a particular study based on belligerent males, revealed that it’s attributed by a sexual intention, belligerence to females, disregarding a hostile approach in intimacy and the level of sexual knowledge (Rachael, 2011). There is an association between date rape and the incapability to evaluate peer relations, failed parenting, and being subjected sexually and/or physically in young hood to abuse. Drug abuse, inclusive plays a vital role in sexual belligerence. Drugs are also used by date rapists to drug their victims and carry out their activities without any restriction from them.
Date rape drugs
Date rape drugs are drugs that enhance the assailants to predate on their victims. These drugs have various effects on the victims depending on their nature. There are drugs that sedate the victims, hypnotize among other effects. Nevertheless, the exact meaning of the term date rape drug is used to exclusively refer to Ketamine Hydrochloride, Benzodiazepines (like Rohypnol) Gamma Hydroxyl Butyric acid and the most commonly used, alcohol.
There are several characteristics that make date rapists settle on these drugs; the have no taste, no smell, no color and most of all, they cannot be detected by the victims (American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress , 1997). These drugs are cleared from the victims’ bodies within three days and would there be any legal cases, there cannot be any firm evidence against the assailants (Kansas State University Counseling Services). These drugs when secretly put in meals or drinks, are fast in their efficacy: some drugs are effective within five to twenty minutes after being slipped into victims’ drinks or meals. Moreover, they enable the victim to act in an intimate way and the victims, mostly after waking up in strange places, have little recollection of the incidents that occurred and in case they do, they have very little evidence that can be used in nailing the assailants.
Impacts of date rape
The effects of date rape are extensive. Usually, this begins after being a victim of date rape and the victim is undecided whether to talk about the issue. Even though a considerable number of the victims disclose the information to their close confidants, little cases are reported to the authorities for prosecution. One of the major reasons that hamper the victims from informing the authorities is a feeling of “self-blame”. The victims are also reluctant to seek medical attention since the assistance can subject them to disturbing situations (Jessica, 2011). This feeling is brought about by the victims’ feelings that they are being subjected to sexual agony during the medical inspection.
There are adverse effects of date rape. These effects may be as a result of the negative effects of the date rape drugs or the traumatic impacts on the victim. The effects can range from simple to fatal. These include allergic effects to the drug undiagnosed before, respiratory problems, coma and the severity in some cases leads to death. On the other hand, there are several effects of rape on the victims. These effects include unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and internal and external body damages, difficulties in having intimate relationships, feeling of dejection and fretfulness.
Court cases
People, regardless of their social status, can be either victims or perpetrators of date rape. Perhaps one of the most renowned date rape cases to ever grace the legal circles is those of Mike Tyson v. Desiree Washington and that of William Kennedy v. Patricia Bowman. In the case of Mike Tyson v. Desiree Washington, 1992, Mike Tyson was found guilty of date raping an eighteen-year old Desiree Washington. The Indianapolis incident happened in a hotel room where the victim was rehearsing in their rented hotel’s ballroom with her fellow friends (The Tech, 1992). As Washington was later to quote Tyson, he asked her if she was a “nice Christian girl” after which she agreed. She was hugged by him during a filming session and was offered a chance to go out on a date with him and she again agreed. Later, the perpetrator gave her a call from his car, at first she was adamant that she would go out and when he became persistent, she threw the towel.
The victim had the premonition that they were meeting celebrities but when she got in his car, she had to “jump back” to prevent his kiss and “was surprise that he acted like that…his breath kind of smelled too.” She was lured to Canterbury Hotel, room 606, and she was lured to the bedroom, “hey, the T.V is in here.” After some questions about her, “he leaned over, and his voice changed” and he started saying,”you’re turning me on.” She went into the bathrooms and when coming out, met with Tyson clad in underwear. Amid her struggles, she held her, kissed her, pulled down her innerwear, put his hand on his vagina and enter his manhood into her. After feeling used, she sued Tyson though she was emotionally agonized.
William Kennedy v. Patricia Bowman; this 1991 case where Patricia Brown was the victim happened in the attacker’s family retreat (Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc, 2011). Brown described Kennedy as “likeable”, had trusted him and detected an oddity when he stripped naked and dived into the ocean. When she turned to go, she was atrociously assaulted and amid her screams of “No” and “Stop”, he lifted her clothe and raped her. She was left with marks on her torso, and had to be hospitalized. William was found innocent after stating she had strange acts and that it was only after the “consensual” that she started blaming him.
Prevention of date rape
There are several steps that can be taken to ensure one doesn’t fall a victim of date rape. They include keeping a cautious eye on all drinks; avoiding consuming alcoholic drinks from strangers and people who one doesn’t have confidence in; taking drinks exclusively from the bar attendants and in case strangers want to do it for you, going with them to the counter; declining drinks from anyone; keeping a prot3ctive eye on friends and watching for any abnormal habits; calling emergency number 911 upon realizing that one has ingested a rape date drug; and staying in social groups when going out for parties without leaving the others without telling.

References
Jessica, W. (2010). Date Rape. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company.
Rachael, B. (2011). Tru Crime Library . Retrieved November 22, 2011, from William Kennedy Smith: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/celebrity/william_k_smith/4.html
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (1997). Perspectives on Acquintance Rape. Retrieved November 22, 2011, from Homepage: http://www.aaets.org/arts/art13.htm

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