Blame Noone But Yourself Essay, Research Paper
November 9, 1999
Blame No One But Yourself
Date rape is a term used to describe a rape where the victim knows the attacker, either closely or casually, that frequently involves alcohol or some other drug limiting the judgment of the perpetrator and the defenses of the victim. Although date rape is a forced issue, many precautions can be taken to prevent the crime. Date rape is vastly underreported because of the victims? guilt, shame, and the feeling that they would not be believed. For example, in a study done by the National Center for the Prevention and Control of Rape, ninety percent of all rapes are never reported. A college campus is the most common place where a date rape would happen. The most commonly known cause of date rape is a drug called Rohypnol, also known as roofies. Rohypnol is prescribed as a sleeping pill. Hundreds of college students across the map are slipping these pills into their victims? drinks. A short while later the victim then feels tired and eventually passes out, leaving them vulnerable for rape. There are many precautions that can be taken to prevent theses occurrences from happening.
The most important factor in preventing date rape is the controlling of alcohol intoxication. The involvement of alcohol in a date rape makes the fault hard to determine. Thus, more emphasis should be put on taking precautions to prevent date rape. Alcohol has many effects on the body including improving the mood, decreasing motor skills, and increasing aggressive behavior. Rebecca Brown, a professional coordinator of the Colorado University Rape and Gender Education Program states, ?In the latest national study, 85-90 percent of campus rapes involve alcohol.? If women could regulate their in-take of alcohol they can avoid being taken advantage of. It could also prevent men from acting in a highly aggressive manner. Linell Juliet agrees that cautious drinking is the way to go. She said, ?The evidence of a date rape is hard to obtain unless retrieved right after the assault and if drugs and alcohol are involved, it is one person?s word against the other.? One-way men and women can take precaution against date rape when alcohol is involved is being with a group of friends. Another way is knowing how many drinks is one?s limit. One last precaution is being careful what one does with their drink.
Another important reason for date rape is a lack of consideration for a woman?s rights and wishes. Men are taught at a very early age to be aggressors. They are encouraged to be competitive, not to give up, to keep on trying. Women on the other hand are socialized to be more passive, dependent, to avoid scenes, to be ?lady like?. They are discouraged from experimenting with their sexuality. This double standard allows men to have sexual feelings and act on them, while women are allowed to be sexual primarily when she becomes ?carried away? with emotion.
Many women believe that they will never be raped. They are convinced that rape will only happen to women who ?ask for it?. This rape ?myth? is one of the reasons why a rapist catches so many women off guard. Because so many rapes are by acquaintances, they go unreported. Most women that are raped know their attacker. This knowledge may in fact encourage her, and those around her, to attribute more blame to the victim, especially if she fails to resist. Women believe they will be able to control the situation at all times.
Women cannot always avoid rape. Nevertheless, there are many safety measures they can take to minimize their chance of being raped. The Boulder City Police Department in Boulder City, Colorado, placed a prevention list for women to avoid date rape. The list is as follows:
-Be careful not to let alcohol or drugs decrease your ability to take care of yourself
and make sensible decisions.
-Trust your instincts. If a place or the way your date is acting makes your nervous
or uneasy, get out.
-Check out a first date or blind date with friends. Meet in and go out to public places.
Carry money for a phone call or taxi or take your own car.
-Do not leave social events with someone you don?t know well or just met.
-Do not accept beverages from someone you don?t know and trust. Always watch
your drink and never leave it unattended.
People believe that rape will never happen to someone they love or are close to. Unfortunately, it does. My cousin?s fianc?e, who wishes to be left anonymous, was almost date raped by two of her close friends. A student at Villanova University, she was attending a party off campus when two of her guy friends got her drunk and led her upstairs to a bedroom. There they tried to take her clothes off and have sex with her. She resisted and luckily her girlfriends, realizing she was missing, went upstairs to look for her. They found her in the bedroom and took her home unharmed. This is also a prevention of date rape, go to parties and gatherings with close friends who you know and can rely on.
Another reason it is not possible to determine who is solely responsible at fault in a date rape is because men can also prevent it from happening. It is never right for a man to force himself on a woman, even if she teases him, dresses provocatively, or leads him on in any way. When a woman says ?no?, she means no, so men should not see that as a challenge. Rape is motivated primarily by desire to control and dominate, rather than by sex. If men have feelings of violence and aggression towards women, they can seek counseling or a support group to deal with those feelings. The main way men can prevent date rape is to resist the temptation and by not distributing roofies to vulnerable women. In a special report on rape on campus, writer William Celes III wrote, ?Sexual activity that goes too far and becomes abhorrent to the woman is not new among college students. But calling it date rape is?defining sex between dates or acquaintances without the woman?s consent is a form of male assault rather than a form of female error.
(New York Times 1/2/91)
Alcohol is the main cause in the crime of date rape. Both men and women have to know their limit in order to be capable of protecting themselves. Many precautions can be taken by both parties to prevent rape from happening. The most important precaution would be to always watch your drink so that you don?t give the aggressor the chance to slip roofies into your drink. Women have to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Any sign of invulnerability will give men all the more reason to force themselves on to them.
1.)Anonymous. Student, Villanova University. Personal Interview. November 3, 1999.
2.)www.bcn.boulder.co.usa/boulder/police/prevention/daterape.htm, Boulder, Colorado
Police Department. 1999
3.) www.ncf.carleton.ca/freenet/rootdir/menus/sigs/life/feminism/s../rape.pre, Rape
Prevention Measures. 1999
4.) Dotsin, Joanna. Student, Gwyneed Mercy College. Electronic Interview. November 2,
5.) Flanders, Laura. Extra! Rape Coverage: Shifting the Blame.
6.) Olson, Leslie. Campus Press. Colorado University Newspaper.
7.) Rophie, Katie. Date Rape?s Other Victim. New York Time?s Magazine. June, 13 1993
8.) Rophie, Katie. The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus.