Date Rape

Well, after a few stories, including  Cory’s story under the blog about getting ‘lighter” I am going to put out a little more information.  If you have read the blogs, I last did Child Pornography.  These types are listed in my book in alphabetical order.  So, the next is Date Rape.

Statistics:  Research on date rape does not separate it from Acquaintance Rape.  This is a mistake.  Acquaintance Rape may not be date rape, though certainly her date is an acquaintance at some level.  Her doctor or the neighbor who helped bring in the groceries is not a date.  It is much harder for date rape survivors to identify their experience as in fact a rape.  After all, they accepted the date, have usually gone out willingly with the guy, and usually there is an aura of at least a possible romantic attachment.

“In an October 22 statistics study at the University of Tennessee, 25% of college women surveyed are victims of rape or attempted rape, 84% of the women assaulted were raped by an acquaintance and 57% were considered date rape.” (“Self Defense Against Date Rape and Acquaintance Sexual assault,” Date Rape Statistics: Dating Can Be Dangerous, Octover 22, 2002, www.pepper-apray.store.com/date.shtml)

Even more shocking is that eighty-four percent of men who were involved in a date rape did not realize that their actions legally fitted the description of date rape. (Seven things You Should Know How to Prevent Date Rape,”  Mr. Ghaz, February 21, 2008, wwwgoogle.com/base/a/5665824/D14573882229579118613).

Definition:  If you’ve been fondled beyond your own sexual value system, been pressured in any way to give back to him and have felt unable to say no or protect yourself, you’ve been violated.

Story: ‘Katie Koestner’s story is not a pretty one, but it’s one she’s shared with audiences across the nation more than 1.000 times.  That story recounts her experience as a victim of date rape…Koestner was a self-described naive and shy 18-year-old when she left her native home in Pennsylvania to attend college at William and Mary.  ‘By the time I started college, I had already made a lot of plans for myself, ‘ she said.  ‘My plans didn’t quite work out the way I planned.”

One night changed her life…she and her date had dinner, an experience she described as perfect, but then she invited him back to her room…’I liked him–I liked him a lot,’ she said.  ‘The entire issue might  be more crystal clear if I didn’t like him.  Despite her refusal to drink more than a couple of sips of champagne, her attempt to turn the situation into a  joke to give him an out, and, once he refused to take no for an answer, her struggle to get away from him, her date completed the act of violation.’ (Erskine Students Hear Plea From Date Rape Survivor,” netnews, April 14, 2009, http://www.erskine, edu/news/dat.11.07.03.html)

She was scorned by fellow students and others.  Her father refuses to come hear her speak, and her mother told her she would never find a husband because she was damaged goods. 

Her attacker was found guilty (good for her to press charges) but was only banned from her dorm for a single semester!!  Talk about evidence of a rape based culture!!

Commentary:  I feel so angry right now as I think about the insidiousness of date rape.  What makes it one of the most dangerous types is the rape culture all around us that we cannot see because we are so immersed in it.  While the above young woman was aware she had been raped, her attacker most likely was socialized to believe he was entitled to what he did.  After all, he had taken her out to dinner, didn’t she owe him something?  This kind of thinking is so far from Jesus example of a servant leader who gives and loves us and demands nothing back that stretch between feels unfathomable.  The slap on the wrist from the college is horrendously inadequate of course, but also not loving to him, as it colluded to help him not face the truth about himself.  He also has probably done it again…

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