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Date Rape, Its Causes, Effects, and How to Avoid This Case

Abstract

Date rape is the type of rape in which a person who is, arguably, trusted by another takes advantage of the trust and forces his way into having non-consensual sex with her. The rape victim can either be a woman or a man although cases of male date-rape victims are few. It is a very common type of rape that has raised a lot of controversy regarding its punishment especially when it occurs in marriage. Although there are so many defenses for date rape, it is taken as seriously as rape whereby the offender is a stranger.

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A good number of people do not know much about date rape and thus many incidences of date rape go unreported. This makes the victim more vulnerable to the effects of date rape which include Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), pregnancy etc. Additionally, if a woman who is a victim of date rape fails to report the incidence, she will most likely experience more trauma than another woman who chooses to report the incidence. This is because on reporting, the victims are accorded the required support until they recover from the effects of the rape. This paper analyses date rape by looking into its causes and effects, suggesting ways in which it can be avoided and advices on what should be done in case one is raped.

Introduction

As mentioned above, date rape mostly occurs between people who are not strangers. This means that the rapist may be a workmate, an acquaintance, a friend or even a marriage partner. In some isolated cases, date rape may occur between people who barely know each other. These cases mostly occur in clubs where people may meet for the first time and out of influence, they may agree. The law treats date rape with almost the same weight as rapes in which the offender is a stranger (Wallace, 2011, p. 1).

Research has shown that occurrence of date rapes is more common than other rape by a stranger. It is particularly common among students who are more gullible as compared to their adult counterparts due to their naivety (Leslie, 1996, p. 52). A good number of date rapes are carried out by husbands, acquaintances and even boyfriends.

Causes of date rape

There are a number of ways in which one can expose himself/herself to date rapes. The following are the leading causes of date rapes:

Binge drinking

Binge drinkers are women who consume more than three drinks and men who consume more than four drinks. This is the main reason why date rapes are common among college students because most of them are weekend binge drinkers. A person who is drunk is more likely to be violent, aggressive or angry if he is denied the chance to have sex with his date. It is thus of essence for people who are fond of going on drinking sprees to know their environment well and ensure that they go out with trustworthy people. However, it is safer to abstain from excessive drinking and seek counseling if one is an addict.

Date rape drugs

Sex pests may use drugs that affect the normal functioning of a person’s brain. The drugs are normally put in the victims drink blending well with the drink such that the victim will be unable to taste or smell the drug. The victim, after consuming the drugged drink, becomes susceptible to sexual assault because she is not able to reason well or defend herself from her offender. The drugs also have amnesic effects on the victims. This makes them very dangerous since the victim may be unable to know for sure that she has been sexually assaulted after she sobers up. These drugs are responsible for a large number of date rapes especially in cases where the offender is sure that his victim is not interested in having sex with him. Some of these drugs include ketamine, rohypnol and hydroxybutyrate (Leslie, 1996, p. 77).

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Mixed signals

There are cases of date rape that are caused by a woman’s reactions towards a man. If the woman acts too friendly to a particular man, the man may mistake the friendliness for willingness to have sex. If such a woman drinks excessively, she may be prone to sexual assault since the man whom she has shown some attention may want to have sex with her and get aggressive if she rejects him. It is thus of essence that women maintain a respectable look when in social places (Hendry, 2011, p. 1).

Isolation

Another cause of date rapes is the spending of time with a man in isolation. For instance, if a woman accepts to enter an unoccupied room with a man, she is subjecting herself to date rape since the room will obviously lack the protection that she may get in a populated setting. In addition to this, women should go to parties and other social places with their friends and ensure they do not, at any time, sit or travel alone.

Personality disorders

It is important for women to be very selective on the kind of man they go out with. For instance, if a woman goes out with a man with a domineering disposition, the woman is putting herself at more risk of being sexually assaulted. This is because such a man is capable of forcing the woman into having sex even if she is not interested.

Effects of date rape

People assume that date rape has lesser effects than normal rape but the truth is that date rape can potentially have adverse effects on its victim. Thus the victim may get physical injury like bruises, abrasions and cuts. These may even be in the pelvic area since their offenders penetrate them forcibly. This is technically referred to as physical trauma. This makes them feel dirty, used and abused and hence they succumb to mental and emotional trauma. They may also feel used. This will make them live each day hating their offender leading to more trauma. This, in turn, could make them have developmental problems because they may develop fear, contempt and lack of trust in men. Male victims, on the other hand, mainly suffer the emotional trauma although they can also be infected with STDs. There is, therefore, the need for psychological treatment of date rape victims so that they may live a normal life.

In cases where the victim of a date rape decides to keep the incident to herself, the rape could lead to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and pregnancy. This could be a recipe for more trauma as the victim may be forced to live with the effects of the rape till their death.

How to avoid date rapes

As evidenced in the discussion above, excessive drinking is one of the leading causes of date rapes. Women should ensure that they take less than four drinks in order to ensure that they can make good decisions and protect themselves in case somebody wants to assault them. On the other hand, men should ensure that they take no more than four drinks since doing so will make them susceptible to date rapes by both male and female sex offenders.

Women should also be very watchful when drinking to ensure that they are not drugged. Women in drinking sprees should thus ensure that any drinks that are served for them are opened before them and that any suspicious moves by male friends are closely monitored. If a man offers drink to the woman, she should do her best to know his motive in order to avoid being given drugged drinks. Additionally, women should go to parties in groups so that friends can watch over drinks when one excuses herself to receive a phone call, or respond to a call of nature (Clayman, 2009, p. 1). If this is followed, the number of date rapes will be greatly reduced since date rape drugs are among the leading causes of date rapes.

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Women should also avoid dating men with undesirable characteristics like an angry and domineering disposition. This is because such men are more likely to assault them sexually. Thus if a man is used to forcing people to do things that they do not want to do, he is more likely to be an offender in a date rape than another man who applies diplomacy in affairs.

As stated earlier, it is important for women to avoid being with any man in isolation. This is because, even without malicious planning, a man may get tempted to have sex with a woman whom he is with, in an isolated place. This may turn to a date rape if the woman is not interested.

Women should also avoid gestures that may make a man believe they want to have sex with him (Bacharach, 2005, p. 7). For instance, women should avoid being too friendly to a given man when they go out for drinks or for parties. Additionally, women should avoid wearing provocative clothes in the company of men. This is because the provocative clothes may turn a man on, who may turn out to be their offender.

Men are not exempted from date rapes and thus they should also be careful with some of these issues. Date rapes in which men are the victims are mainly caused by irresponsible drinking and date rape drugs. Men should thus be careful when they go out for drinks.

What to do in case one is raped

In case a woman becomes a victim of date rape, it is important for her to realize that different people react differently to trauma and that her mindset will be a chief determinant factor in the recovery process. The first thing she should do is to visit a crisis center for rape in which she can get the appropriate medical assistance. It is also of essence for the victim to contact a rights group for rape victims for assistance in seeking legal action against her offender. On contacting this group and the crisis center, appropriate medical tests and medications will be administered to her to reduce the chances of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) (Donaldson, 2010, p. 1). She will even be accompanied by a person who is experienced in dealing with rape cases to the hospital who will guide her accordingly.

The check-up in the hospital after a date rape (rape) normally involves collection of evidence that can be used against the offender. It is thus of essence that the victim avoids taking a shower before she goes to the hospital. This is specifically important in date rapes because, as stated above, most date rapes involve people who know each other. Thus the victim may be unwilling to press charges against the offender. However, it is important to follow the aforementioned procedure and ensure that evidence is collected so that if the victim changes her mind in the future, she can provide the evidence. Another advantage of going through the aforementioned procedure is the fact that the victim is given drugs that will help prevent her from getting pregnant. This is important because pregnancy from a rape could be very traumatizing.

On reaching the hospital, the police should be contacted for appropriate action. It is important for the victim to note that she will be given ample time to consider pressing charges after reporting the incident. The police can be contacted even if the victim has spent a considerably long time after being raped.

After treatment, it is of essence for the victim to get the support of the people close to her. She should ensure that she does not keep the experience to herself because doing so will lengthen the recovery process. In case some feelings related to the rape arise after the rape, the victim should ensure that she consults professionals for counseling and support.

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Conclusion

From the discussion above, it is apparent that date rape is a common problem in the contemporary society. The most saddening fact is that most of these cases go unreported and the victims may live their lives blaming themselves for the occurrence of the rape. This is because date rape is prevalent among people who know each other and thus the victim may be unwilling to report the rape. As it has been stated, date rapes are common among students who, out of naivety, go out experimenting a number of things. It is thus important that proper sensitization be done in schools so that students can get an understanding of what date rape is and how they can avoid it. This will, in turn, lead to a reduction in the frequency of date rapes. Proper legislation should also be put in place to ensure that cases of date rape are dealt with seriously. This will discourage potential assaulters from committing this heinous act. In cases where one is raped, proper follow-ups should be made to establish what caused the rape so that people can learn from mistakes. The offender should be punished accordingly in order to warn other people planning to commit the offense.

Reference List

Bacharach, J. (2005). A survivor speaks out: the story of my date rape. The EAGLE.

Clayman, E. (2009). Common Causes of Date Rape. Web.

Donaldson, S. (2010). American University Erupts Over Date Rape. Web.

Hendry, L. (2011). Women warned about dangers of date-rape drugs. Web.

Leslie, F. (1996). Date Rape: feminism, philosophy, and the law. California. Bell & Bain.

Wallace, O. (2011). What is Date Rape? Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 28). Date Rape, Its Causes, Effects, and How to Avoid This Case. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/date-rape-its-causes-effects-and-how-to-avoid-this-case/

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StudyCorgi. "Date Rape, Its Causes, Effects, and How to Avoid This Case." March 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/date-rape-its-causes-effects-and-how-to-avoid-this-case/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Date Rape, Its Causes, Effects, and How to Avoid This Case." March 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/date-rape-its-causes-effects-and-how-to-avoid-this-case/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Date Rape, Its Causes, Effects, and How to Avoid This Case'. 28 March.

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