What Is Date Rape?

When we think of rape, our minds automatically drift to a stranger crouching low in a dark alleyway as he waits for a girl – a runner, a student walking home from class, a woman unloading groceries from her car. It doesn’t matter to him who it is. But there is more than one kind of rape. About half of all rapes are considered “date rape.” The victim usually knows the perpetrator and may even have had sexual contact with him before. No still means no – even when you’re on a date.

What Is Date Rape?

Date rape usually occurs one a date, but doesn’t have to. With date rape, the victim often knows the rapist. Generally, women and girls are the more common victims of date rape, but it happens to boys and men too. Date rape is considered unwilling, forced sex with someone you’re friends with, have a relationship with or are on a date with. While getting to know someone or going on a date with them usually doesn’t end in rape, it can. It’s time to shed light on the fact that a rapist isn’t just a creepy unshaven guy who hangs out in parking lots waiting to rape. It can be the cute guy at the coffeehouse who asked for your phone number or the seemingly harmless guy you met on Facebook. It can even be your boyfriend.

No Means No

Sometimes the lines aren’t clear when it comes to date rape. Some people believe that if a girl wears provocative clothes to a club or on a date that she’s looking for sex or sexual attention. Others believe that if a girl has previously had sex or any type of sexual contact with a man that it doesn’t matter if she says “no” this time. These are myths – no always means no, no matter what you’re wearing, who you’re with and whether you’ve kissed them before or had intercourse with them before. If you’ve made yourself clear that you do not want to have sex, if you are forced to do so, it is considered rape or date rape and you are not at fault.

Preventing Date Rape

Following your instincts is one of the best ways to stay safe – if you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, don’t try to talk yourself out of it. Listen to your gut – if you feel like you should leave somewhere or get away from someone, do it even if it seems silly. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help if you feel as though you’re in a dangerous situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Be sober and get familiar with your surroundings when you’re out and about, and if you’re with a partner, avoid being alone with them until you really get to know them. Be up front and honest about sex and make sure you’re clear on what you want. Don’t seem unsure, because date rapists can take advantage of that. Let your partner know exactly what is okay and what isn’t okay, and don’t appear undecided about it. Be calm and confident!


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