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What is Date Rape, Acquaintance Rape?

Detailed date rape information. Read trusted info on acquaintance rape, what to do if you’re date raped, and get date rape definition.

Date rape refers to sexual assault by someone you know. It doesn't even have to be someone you're dating. Most of the time, dating, friendships, and other types of acquaintances never become tainted by a crime as violent as rape. But it does happen.

Date Rape Definition

Here's a simplified date rape definition: if someone you know (but not family), forces you to have sex, experts refer to this as date rape or acquaintance rape. Rape happens overwhelmingly more often to women and girls. Ninety six percent (96%) of all rape victims are women; but men and boys can be victims too. When men experience sexual assault, it's usually by other men.

Even though rape involves forcible sex, it has absolutely nothing to do with intimacy or passion. Rape, even date rape, is a violent and aggressive act performed by a perpetrator to exert power and control over his victim.

Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape

Who might commit date rape and acquaintance rape? Males aged 17 to 30 represent the largest group of sexual offenders, although someone of any age could commit rape. Read the list below about some of the types of people that can commit date rape and acquaintance rape:

  • Boyfriend
  • Ex-boyfriend
  • Ex-husband
  • Co-Worker
  • Supervisor
  • Friend
  • Someone you just met

Date Rape Prevention

You may hear others talk about people they know, or that they've heard of, who are date rape victims. You may hear them blame the victim and say things like, "She asked for it," and "She should have known better than to go off with him." Don't listen to this idle talk.

Rape is never the victim's fault. If you are date raped, there is nothing you did to cause it. The full responsibility falls on the perpetrator. But, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • When dating someone new, go on a double date or go out with a group of friends.
  • Organize alternative transportation home in advance of the date, just in case you decide not to stay out with him.
  • Take your cell phone with you. Make certain it's charged up.
  • Do not invite a date into your home or go into his (the majority of date rapes happen in homes)
  • Trust your instincts. Do not feel pressured to spend time alone with a person that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Choose to drink soda or water rather than alcohol.
  • Never leave your drink unattended. Rapists frequently put drugs in drinks to make women pass out. (read about: Types and How Date Rape Drugs Work)
  • Know your sexual rights and establish physical and intimate boundaries from the start. A potential rapist won't like this and won't hang around long.
  • Use firm language if things start to go too far. Stay close to friends. Watch out for them and ask them to watch out for you.

Stay aware of the activities around you. Don't overindulge in alcohol. Set your personal limits and boundaries before going out and stick to them. It may prove challenging to say no to a guy you really like, but if he doesn't respect your wishes, he's not the person you think he is. The right guy will respect your wishes; will not start anything that makes you uncomfortable; he will stop any sexual activity that has begun if you change your mind. Choose the men you date wisely; be picky.

Never forget, sexual assault is a serious crime – a felony. Break the silence and report sexual assault.

article references


 

nextDate Rape Victims and the Effect of Date Rape
~ all articles on rape
~ all articles on abuse

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2012, July 28). What is Date Rape, Acquaintance Rape?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/rape/what-is-date-rape-acquaintance-rape

Last Updated: May 4, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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