Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Every 2 minutes, date rape occurs in America. What a staggering figure! When you hear the term “date rape”, many people think it only occurs when one of the drugs I have written articles about is involved. This is not necessarily true. Other people may define as associated with a violent act often times with a weapon. It is important for men and women to understand what date rape is. I feel it is also important to teach our teens about what it is and the affects of this very serious crime.
Some people will argue that when someone says a date rape has occurred it is a result of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or the woman is accusing the man of date rape as an act of retaliation for hurt feelings. Knowing the law(s) in your area is integral in pressing charges on someone for date rape or defending yourself against an accusation of date rape.
The simplest definition of date rape, or sometimes called acquaintance rape, is when two people who know each other and usually occurs in social situations. So technically you don’t have to be on a “date” for date rape to occur. Date rape can happen between two people who have had consensual sex before, who just started dating, who met at school, work, your neighbor who you have lived next door to for five years, etc. The one thing that people need to understand is when someone says “no”, NO MEANS NO. No means stop what you are doing, this is not wanted by the person you are doing this too. Maybe she wants you to slow down or stop, do not force the issue not matter how hot and heavy things seem to be to you. The person you are with is uncomfortable by what is going on. If the person you are with starts physically trying to push you away, this means no as well. Don’t resist, don’t try to keep pushing. Stop what you are doing, check in with your partner. This is for your own safety as well as the person you are with. You may have misinterpreted kissing and heavy petting for a sign of her/him wanting to take things even further. Communication is key during any sexual experience.
One factor that contributes to an accusation of date rape is intoxication. Whether the intoxication is via alcohol or drugs, if the person you are with is intoxicated, can they truly give consent to have sex with you? If the person was in their right mind, would they have sex with you in the same situation? Many date rape convictions have occurred based on the fact that the person was drunk and their judgment was clouded. If you are drunk or high as well, this will not be seen as a good excuse in a court of law to get you off the hook. You can and will more then likely be charged with rape if she/he can prove they were also drunk or high.
The best thing to do if you are in doubt of any situation, don’t do it. You are better off safe then sorry.