One essence of dating as a young person is to feel comfortable and interact with others. It creates an environment that facilitates the establishment of friendship and companionship. Also, it provides opportunities for emotional closeness and teaches a person how to care and be attentive to his/her partner’s feeling.

However, many have fallen victims of sexual abuse while on a date. Many young women are raped or coerced into having sexual intercourse by their dates or have their safety seriously compromised by risk-taking partners. While the majority of rape victims are women, men have been the victims of rape by other women or by other men.

 

What Is Acquaintance Or Date Rape?

It is a type of rape that occurs after the individuals involved have agreed to social engagement. Rape is defined as vaginal, oral, or anal penetration using force or threat of force. It is an act of violence motivated by power and control. The assailant may be someone you have recently met, just met, or someone you have been dating. In many cases, the assailant does not believe that what took place constitutes rape. Also, the majority of these rapes go unreported, as women are fearful that they will not be believed or will somehow be blamed. Date rape is particularly prevalent on college campuses, where it frequently occurs in situations involving alcohol or other date rape drugs

Some common Myths and Facts About Date Rape

Myth: Date rape only happens between people who just met or don’t know each other well.

Fact: Rape (sexual intercourse with a person against his/her will through the use of threat, force, and/or intimidation) has nothing to do with how well the person knows the assailant. It’s not uncommon for a person to be raped by someone he or she has been dating for a long time, or by a former lover, or by a spouse.

Myth: If a woman lets a man buy her lunch, dinner or pay for a movie or drinks, she owes him sex.

Fact: No one owes sex as a payment to anyone else, no matter how expensive the date.

Myth: Only women are raped.

Fact: Ten percent of rape cases involve men as a victim.

Myth: If both people are drunk at the time of the incident, no one can be accused of rape.

Fact: Being drunk does not mean someone cannot be accused of and convicted of rape.

Myth: Women make false reports about sexual assault, especially date rape.

Fact: Women face embarrassment and humiliation in revealing that they have been raped. Most do not lie. In fact, nine out of ten incidents of date rape go unreported.

Myth: It is okay to have sex with a woman who has had too much to drink and passed out.

Fact: It is a crime to have intercourse with someone who is defenseless and non- consenting.

Myth: Women can easily avoid date rape situations.

Fact: Most women are date raped by an individual that they thought could be trusted in an environment that they considered safe.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN TO HELP UNDERSTAND THIS CRIME AND TO PREVENT IT

  • Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say “No” to any unwanted sexual contact. If you are uncertain about what you want, ask the person to respect your feelings.
  • Don’t get stranded. If you don’t know your date well, consider meeting your date in a public place – if your date hesitates, don’t waiver. If you do accept a ride from a date, always carry some money so that you can call a cab if you need to cut the date short.
  • Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If you say “No,” say it like you mean it. Be careful of mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm tone of voice and clear body language. Remember that some people think that drinking, dressing provocatively, or going to a private room indicates a willingness to have sex. Be especially careful to communicate your limits and intentions clearly in such situations.
  • Remember that date rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.

 

WAYS TO AVOID DATE/ACQUAINTANCE RAPE

  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol or drugs. They interfere with your ability to communicate and increase your chances of being assaulted.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation feels wrong or dangerous, it may be. Get away, call for help, and listen to your instincts.
  • Pay attention to what is happening around you. Do not put yourself in a vulnerable situation.
  • Make conscious and active choices. Say what you mean and express what you feel.
  • Be assertive and sure of what you want to do.
  • Do not imagine that because someone has spent a lot of time, attention, or money on you that it obligates you sexually. You have the right to say “NO”.
  • Make plans ahead of time so that someone will know where you are.
  • Most of all do not be afraid to say “NO”.

 

For more information and counselling, Visit our Youth Clinic

Action Health Incorporated
17, Lawal Street, Off Oweh Street,
Jibowu, Yaba Lagos
Nigeria.
Email: info@actionhealthinc.org

 

Reference

University of Florida Police Department

 

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