Date Rape

Argumentation-5th hour
December 2, 2001
How many of you know someone who has had something stolen from them? How
many of you know someone who has been held at gunpoint? How many of you
know someone who has been date raped? You might and not even know about
it. In 1985, Mary Koss, a professor at Kent State University, surveyed
approximately 7,000 students on thirty-two campuses on behalf of Ms.

magazine and found that one in eight women were the victims of rape.

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Experts estimate that as many as 90 percent of all rapes are never
reported. But When you hear the word “rape,” what do you think of? If you
imagine a stranger jumping out of the bushes on a dark night and attacking
someone, you are only partly right–because most rapes are not committed by
strangers but by men who know their victims, who often have gone out with
them previously and are supposedly their friends.

Acquaintance rape is forced, unwanted intercourse with a person you know.

It can be that cute neighbor, the blind date your friend set you up with,
even your husband of boyfriend. The fact is, if you said no, it’s rape.

Date rapes typically occur when a woman is alone with a man. If you go to a
man’s room or apartment or even get into his car alone, you are vulnerable.

Date rapes can occur when others are relatively close by; for example, they
can take place in an upstairs bedroom while fifty people are attending a
party on the first floor. Alcohol and drugs are sometimes a significant
factor in date rape. Many victims say later that they drank too much or
took too many drugs to realize what was going on; by the time they realized
their predicament, it was too late. Sometimes a woman passes out and
awakens to find a man having sex with her. On the other hand, some date
rapes occur when alcohol is not involved or when the victim has had little
or nothing to drink but the man has been drinking and becomes sexually
aggressive.

Mixed signals are another element in date rape. The woman acts in a
friendly manner; the man interprets this friendliness as an invitation to
have sex. “No” is heard as “maybe” and even a strong protest can be ignored
under the delusion that women say “no” when they mean “yes.” Some men find
it sexually exciting to have a woman struggle. If the woman protests only
mildly, the man may think he is merely “persuading” her, not forcing her to
have sex (He may think the same, however, even if she protests vigorously.)
Sometimes a woman is not clear in her own mind about what she wants or she
may think she will make up her mind as she goes along. If she changes her
mind at some point and decides not to have sex, the man can feel cheated,
rejected, and angry. He may be interpreting her nonverbal messages, such as
her enjoyment of kissing and caressing, as meaning that she wants to have
sex with him. At this point he may decide he has been teased or misled and
“deserves” to get some satisfaction, regardless of the woman’s wishes. The
result can be rape.

You can’t always avoid date rape. There is no one thing that you can do to
assure that you will never be raped. But, there are steps you can take to
minimize the likelihood.

.Say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no. Be assertive.

.Be independent and aware on your dates. Do not be totally passive. Do
have opinions on where to go. Do think about appropriate places to
meet (not necessarily at your room or his), and, if possible, pay your
own way or suggest activities that do not cost any money.

.Avoid blind dates.

.If things start to get out of hand, exit loudly.

.have your own transportation
.Avoid secluded places where you are alone. The most common places
that date rapes occur is in the man or womans apartment or home.


Unfortunately, a nice, normal man can turn into a date rapist. However,
there are some men who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than
others. Watch out for:
.men who express anger or aggression towards women as individuals or
in general. Hostile feelings can easily be translated into hostile
acts. Such men often get hostile when a woman says “no.”
.men who try to make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being “uptight”
if you resist their sexual overtures
.men who act excessively jealous or possessive
.Men who have unrealistic expectations about women. Such as that
women are made to be used, etc…

.Men who drink heavily.

All rape is traumatic but there is something particularly traumatic about a
woman being raped by someone she knows and previously had liked and
trusted. Although only a small percentage of men commit date rape, these
men do a disproportionate amount of harm. As women become more aware of
what date rape is and how it occurs, they may be able to lower the chances
of it happening to them. Rape is not a private issue but a public one.

Acquaintance rape cannot be considered solely a “personal” issue involving
a particular man and a particular woman. It is a problem that concerns all
men and all women because it deals with the basic issue of the ways in
which men and women relate to each other.

I want to end with a poem by Katherine Knox, a victim of date rape.

Silent Agony
Does the truth stay hidden,
waiting for another dayto reveal the fight as remedied;
Or, until it comes more easily,
or happens by itself,without the struggle to succeed?
If these things are so, then truth is passive,
and will not fightor struggle when it’s all uphill, —
Or try to overcome the pain
of those who live in silent agony,because our honesty stood still.

If you know someone who has been a victim of date rape, or you yourself
has, speak out. This cannot end until we make it clear to EVERYONE that
it’s not ok.