How to Prevent Date Rape

Here are some date rape statistics that you might find informative. Date rape is a simplistic term that can also be under the category of domestic violence. The sexual assault doesn't have to involve going out on a date. Rape is rape.
The following date rape statistics come from The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress:
College Campus Statistics
  • One in four women surveyed was a victim of rape or attempted rape.
  • An additional one in four women surveyed was touched sexually against her will or was a victim of sexual coercion.
  • 84 percent of those raped knew their attacker.
  • 57 percent of those raped happened while on dates.
  • One in twelve male students surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape.
  • 84 percent of those men who committed rape said that what they did was definitely not rape.
  • Sixteen percent of the male students who committed rape and ten percent of those who attempted a rape took part in episodes involving more than one attacker.
These statistics are only of college students. It is difficult to obtain date rape statistics outside of a college campus. The U.S. Justice Department estimates that 26% of all rape is reported. Only about 5% of date rapes are ever reported, which makes it harder to prosecute the attacker. Some women may feel that they did something to encourage the assault. Others don't want to undergo the scrutiny, judgments against them and humiliation that might happen if they report an assault.
Prevention Tips
If going out on a date, make it a double date or a group date. This will make the date less tense and safer. Don't go on blind dates. You don't know who you're dating let alone what they look like. You have very little information about what kind of man he is. Agree to meet up at a public place instead of having him pick you up. Go "dutch", where both of you pay your share on the date. This way he won't expect you to do something you don't want to do just because he paid for dinner and a movie.
Make sure someone knows where you're going. Give your friend or family member your date's name and phone number so they know who you're with. Call your friend or family member at a certain time while you're on the date so he or she will know everything is going okay.
The most important tip is to follow your instincts. If you don't feel comfortable around him, leave. Either drive yourself home or call for a cab. Make sure you bring some extra change or money in case you need it. If your date is too aggressive, gets angry easily, acts jealous or possessive, then it's time to end the date.
Other warning signs that it might be time to end the date are: he accuses you of leading him on or being uptight. He makes you feel guilty for not giving into his demands. He won't take "NO" for an answer and he gets hostile. Always be assertive and set boundaries at the beginning of the date.
If you follow the prevention tips above, your chances of becoming another date rape statistic are dramatically reduced.
Michelle Roebuck 

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