Date Rape is a misleading term, which describes a serious crime that is misunderstood and under-reported. For many women, the word rapist evokes images of a psychotic stranger in an alley. But more often than not, a rape victim knows her attacker. He s a seemingly nice guy a date, a good friend, a casual acquaintance, a classmate, or even a coworker who suddenly becomes forceful or even violent, and makes her have sexual intercourse against her will. This is called acquaintance or date rape. Rape, regardless of who commits it is a felony sexual assault that leaves the victim injured and traumatized.
60 % of rapes are acquaintance or date rapes. The number of date rapes in the U. S. is higher than most countries around the world.
About 100, 00 rapes are reported each year while the FBI believes this is only 1/8 of the actual amount of rapes. One college professor stated in an article that date rape is more common than left handedness, alcoholism, and heart attacks. The Women s Resource center found that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of date rape or attempted date rape in their lifetime. These horrifying numbers can be partially attributed to the fact that 30% of teens have experienced sexual intercourse by the age of 15. Also, the age of rapists is declining, boys younger than 13 are being arrested for date rape. Date rape has existed for many centuries.
However, it was not a well-known offense. Date rape was first mentioned in the 20 th Century in a book called Against Our Will by Susan Brown miller in 1967. Before the mid 70 s date rape was rarely prosecuted and when it was the effort often failed. Than in the 80 s people began waking up and noticing that just because a woman is on a date doesn t mean she wants sex. In date rape cases it is often the man s word against the woman word because there is no evidence. In addition, sometimes the victim had willingly had sex with the attacker in the past.
One type of date rape, which is very common, is sex with reluctant consent. This type is very hard to prosecute. In this case over a period of time a woman is pressured and eventually has sex. However she regrets it after because it was never her intentions. Only about 5% of rape victims report it and less than 5% of rapists go to jail. Date rape is a growing problem on college campuses.
Two factors that contribute to this are co-ed dorms and an increase in drugs and drinking. An attacker often uses drugs or alcohol to make the victim more vulnerable. A problem that arises on campus is that the victim wants to keep it quiet so the school often avoids using outside law enforcement and handles it in their own way. For example, at the College of William and Mary a student s only punishment for rape was being barred from any dorm or fraternity house other than his own for 4 years.
In 1990, a federal law called the Campus Security Act was made which required colleges to collect data on rape and other campus crimes. Schools were required to publish the crimes statistics annually. This Act was amended in 92 to divide rape into forcible and non-forcible. Forcible rape includes date rape and any other violent form of rape while non-forcible included incest and statutory rape.
The change showed a huge difference in statistics between 90 and 92 with much larger numbers. In her report at the University of Arizona professor Mary Koss said that 25% of female college students were victims of rape or attempted rape. And 8% of college men admitted to rape or attempted rape. These are very scary numbers. In addition 57% of rapes on college campuses are date rapes. Victims of date rape have the hardest time getting over the trauma of being raped, which leaves a long lasting emotional scar.
1 out of every 3 women who are date raped considers suicide. Rohypnol also know as Rookies is used by many attackers in date rape cases. The effects of the drug are that it makes a person black out. The drug is prescribed in many countries for sleep disorders such as insomnia. This drug is popular among attackers because it takes away your memory for a few hours after taking the drug. On October 13, 1996 president Clinton signed a bill outlawing Rohypnol and other so-called date rape drugs used by rapists.
The law provided for a 20-year sentence to anyone who uses the drug as a tool for rape or an other violent crime. There have been many court cases in the U. S. involving date rape.
The criminal trial of William Kennedy Smith accused and later acquitted in 91 of raping an acquaintance during the 91 spring break at the Kennedy Family Compound in Florida, and that of the former world heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson accused and convicted in 92 of raping a Miss Black America Beauty Pageant contestant, have both escalated interest in research on date and acquaintance rape. Boorman Vs. Deutsch was a landmark case in date rape. The case came to trial in 1982 and involved a man who violently forced a woman to have intercourse using a knife. In this case the judge said that; A clear No! , by words and / or acts, must be accepted as No! in a democratic and lawful country. It is a nuclear part of every person s inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness articulated in the American Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776.
In addition, this was the first date rape case in New York in which the plaintiff was awarded punitive damages. The judge said that the punitive award is to serve as a warning to others and as a punishment for gross misbehavior for the good of the public. Every state has its own set of rape laws. In case in California a man got off on a charge of date rape because the judge ruled that he did not use enough force for it to be rape.
Other states require written consent before intercourse. I think that there should be stricter laws regarding rape and in regard to colleges it should be mandatory that they report date rapes to the police instead of trying to handle it on their own. On the woman s part, she should make sure that when she says no that the man knows she means it. In general, society as a whole must be more careful in their actions and be aware of the risks that take place even when you think you are just going out on a casual date. Questions 1. What is the origin of date rape? Date rape s earliest known origin is over 3, 500 years ago, recorded in the book of Exodus in the social acquaintance rape of Dinah by Shechem.
2. How do juror s make decisions in date rape cases when it is the man s word against the woman s word? In many cases such as the recent case of Alex Kelley more than 1 woman comes out accusing the man of the same thin offense. 3. Are men ever the victims? Some experts have estimated that about 8% of rape victims are male. However, almost all male rape victims have been raped by other men. One man was quoted in Boston Magazine after being raped by a man hitchhiking and said, Men can t pretend any longer that rape doesn t concern them, because it does.
just because you re a man doesn t mean it can t happen to you. If you re a living human being, you can be raped.