Top College News Subscribe to the Newsletter

The Facts About Date Rape

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2003

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08

The Facts About Date Rape

Please Box

1. 1 out of every 3 women will be raped in her lifetime.

2. Female college freshmen are at the highest risk for sexual assault between the first day of school and Thanksgiving break.

3. 84 percent of rape survivors know their attacker.

4. 90 percent of all campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the assailant or by the victim.

5. One in twelve college males admit to having committed acts that meet the legal definition of rape or acquaintance rape.

(where did the info come from?)

Date rape or acquaintance rape is defined as being forced to have sex against your own will by someone you know is a serious issue especially on college campuses. While most rape victims are women, men are also at risk.

The motives behind date rape vary from case to case, but according to Jasmyn Bowden, a senior political science major and a former peer educator for the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the driving force behind rape is the desire to feel powerful.

"Rape is about power, not sex," she said.

One cannot prevent date rape, but he or she can take precautionary measures to reduce their risk. Being alert and avoiding secluded areas is recommended.

"Students need to send very clear and very consistent messages to their partners," said Carolyn R. Goode, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Health Education at Howard University. Chonda Walden, a Health Educator in the Student Health Education Department says having common sense is key.

"Have some basic rules. Always let somebody know where you are," said Walden.

Avoiding alcohol and drugs altogether is recommended but should you choose to drink, limit your consumption, do not accept an open drink, avoid punch bowls and never under any circumstances leave your drink unattended.

Aside from alcohol, many other substances, commonly called "date rape drugs," are gaining momentum. Two of the most popular are Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) or "Liquid Ecstasy," and Rohypnol or "Roofies." These colorless, odorless and tasteless drugs make even water left unattended dangerous.

Their effects include impaired judgment, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss and even loss of consciousness when mixed with alcohol. As a result, the individual is at a greater risk for sexual assault when under the influence of these substances.

If someone attempts to sexually assault you, "speak loudly," suggests Bowden. "He is trying to be inconspicuous so expose him. Make his advances known."

If you have been sexually assaulted, it is imperative that you take action.

"First, don't be ashamed and do not fault yourself," Walden states. "It is not your fault. No means no." Go to a safe place. Call the police immediately."

Officials will take you to the hospital, where you can receive all the medical attention necessary to not only ensure your health but also to gather evidence to prosecute the perpetrator.

In order to do so, however, it is important that you do not shower, drink, eat, brush your teeth, douche or change your clothes. Write down everything you remember in detail and follow up with police. Though not required, it is highly recommended that you press charges against the assailant to prevent him from victimizing someone else.

Getting counseling is also suggested and there are several places both on campus and off campus that exist to aid in your healing process while keeping your information confidential.

The Howard University Counseling Service offers its services to students by appointment or on designated walk-in days: Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. To find out more, call 202-806-6870.

The D.C. Rape Crisis Center is also a private, non-profit organization that offers free counseling 24 hours a day at 202-333-RAPE. For more information about date rape or any other health issues, visit the Howard University Health Center at 2139 Georgia Avenue, 2nd floor.

Recommended: Articles that may interest you