The Personal Is Political

What is Rape?

Home
Our thoughts
Feminism 101
Sexual Health
Abortion
Sex Education
Violence Against Women
What is Rape?
If You Are Raped
Rape Survivors Stories
Why Do Women Stay?
Domestic Abuse Checklist and Safety Planning
Restraining Orders and Injunctions
Stories of Those Who Survived
Society, Media, and Body Image
Television, Gender roles, and Motherhood
Women and Work
Women and Welfare
Pay Equality
Reads We Recommend
Links to More Information
Leave Feedback and Comments

 

        According to Dictionary.Com date rape is
"Rape perpetrated by the victim's social escort."
          Survivors know it as a major crime against women in this country.
Its victims are much more likely to know (and trust) the perpetrator involved.
The majority of victims are between 15 to 25 years old.

           The effects are long term and can leave a victim's life ripped apart.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common problem for rape survivors.

           The crime effects not only the primary victim, but spreads to include significant
others, friends and can even impact distant family members. The devastation
for the victim can be far reaching and the conviction rate is poor because only
5% of date rapes are ever reported.

          There are many situations where perpetrators don't feel thier behavior has
broken the law, but according to the victim, the story is different.

Ideas like:


She really wanted it.

Girls say no when they really mean yes.

She wouldn't have gone out if she hadn't intended to have sex.

I deserved something for buying the dinner, flowers or movie.

She knew she wanted it but just didn't want to admit it.

     


 These are

ALL

misconceptions
about rape.
          When a woman says no, the answer is No. By going out on a date a woman is not automatically agreeing to have sex no matter how much money was spent. Sex is not something owed in return for going on a date.

          One of the most common questions people ask me is, "If we've had sex before and I told him no and tried to fight him but he ended up getting his way is it really rape?" Those types of situations can be emotionally difficult to sort out.

 The victim in this case feels violated.  The perpetrator feels like nothing
happened that was wrong, caring very little for the feelings of the victim.

          Date rapes are the most common type of rape committed. It tends to be very devasting because the victim has been harmed by someone she previously trusted. Victims have to learn to trust people all over again. This is not an easily accomplished feat.

          Drugs such as Rohypnol are being used more widely. Very often, the victim will not remember a crime being committed but will only have a vague awareness of something happening.

        Most people think of rapes as being done by someone jumping out from behind a bush and overpowering a victim. That is not usually the case. Approximately 42% of the rapes that happen are date rapes where the perpetrator is known to the victim.

There is hope. Education may be the key to curbing this occurrence.

          Men need to learn that when a woman says no. The answer is no. It's not, maybe. It's not, later. It's no.

         Women need to know that it's all right to say no, to mean it, and that having agreed to have sex with this person in the past does not give that person an automatic right to thier body. If a woman says no. It should be taken and meant as a no because that's what it is. No!