I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape

Overview

The classic book that broke new ground by thoroughly reporting on the widespread problem of date and acquaintance rape has now been completely updated to include recent studies, issues, current events, and controversies.

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Overview

The classic book that broke new ground by thoroughly reporting on the widespread problem of date and acquaintance rape has now been completely updated to include recent studies, issues, current events, and controversies.

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
Painstakingly researched...chilling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060925727
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 60
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 202,483
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Reality of Acquaintance Rape


"I never heard of anybody having that happen to them."
-- Lori, raped at 19 by a date

Women raped by men they know--acquaintance rape--is not an aberrant quirk of male-female relations. if you are a woman, your risk of being raped by someone you know is four times greater than your risk of being raped by a stranger.

A recent scientific study of acquaintance rape on 32 college campuses conducted by Ms. magazine and psychologist Mary P. Koss showed that significant numbers of women are raped on dates or by acquaintances, although most victims never report their attacks.

Ms. Survey stats
* 1 in 4 women surveyed were victims of rape or attempted rape.
* 84 percent of those raped knew their attacker.
* 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates.

Those figures make acquaintance rape and date rape more common than left-handedness or heart attacks or alcoholism. These rapes are no recent campus fad or the fantasy of a few jilted females. They are real. And they are happening all around us.

The Extent of "Hidden" Rape

Most states define rape as sexual assault in which a man uses his penis to commit vaginal penetration of a victim against her will, by force or threats of force or when she is physically or mentally unable to give her consent. Many states now also include unwanted anal and oral intercourse in that definition and some have removed gender-specific language to broaden the applicability of rape laws.

In acquaintance rape, the rapist and victim may know each other casually--having met through a common activity, mutualfriend, at a party, as neighbors, as students in the same class, at work, on a blind date, or while traveling. Or they may have a closer relationship--as steady dates or former sexual partners. Although largely a hidden phenomenon because it's the least reported type of rape (and rape, in general, is the most underreported crime against a person), many organizations, counselors, and social researchers agree that acquaintance rape is the most prevalent rape crime today.

Only 90,434 rapes were reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies in 1986, a number that is conservatively believed to represent a minority of the actual rapes of all types taking place. Government estimates find that anywhere from three to ten rapes are committed for every one rape reported. And while rapes by strangers are still underreported, rapes by acquaintances are virtually nonreported. Yet, based on intake observations made by staff at various rapecounseling centers (where victims come for treatment, but do not have to file police reports), 70 to 80 percent of all rape crimes are acquaintance rapes.

Those rapes are happening in a social environment in which sexual aggression occurs regularly. Indeed, less than half the college women questioned in the Ms. survey reported that they had experienced no sexual victimization in their lives thus far (the average age of respondents was 21). Many had experienced more than one episode of unwanted sexual touching, coercion, attempted rape, or rape. Using the data collected in the study (see the Afterword on page 189 for an explanation of how the survey was conducted), the following profile can be drawn of what happens in just one year of "social life" on America's college campuses:

MS. Survey stats * In one year 3,187 women report
* 328 rapes (as defined by law)
* 534 attempted rapes (as defined by law)
* 837 episodes of sexual coercion (sexual intercourse obtained through the aggressor's continual arguments or pressure)
* 2,024 experiences of unwanted sexual contact (fondling, kissing, or petting committed against the woman's will)

Over the years, other researchers have documented the phenomenon of acquaintance rape. In 1957, a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, showed that 30 percent of women surveyed had suffered attempted or completed forced sexual intercourse while on a high school date. Ten years later, in 1967, while young people donned flowers and beads and talked of love and peace, Kanin found that more than 25 percent of the male college students surveyed had attempted to force sexual intercourse on a woman to the point that she cried or fought back. In 1977, after the blossoming of the women's movement and countless pop-culture attempts to extol the virtues of becoming a "sensitive man," Kanin found that 26 percent of the men he surveyed had tried to force intercourse on a woman and that 25 percent of the women questioned had suffered attempted or completed rape. In other words, two decades had passed since Kanin's first study, yet women were being raped by men they knew as frequently as before.

In 1982, a doctoral student at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, found that 25 percent of the undergraduate women surveyed had at least one experience of forced intercourse and that 93 percent of those episodes involved acquaintances. That same year, Auburn psychology professor and acquaintance-rape expert Barry R. Burkhart conducted a study in which 61 percent of the men said they had sexually touched a woman against her will.

Further north, at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, research in 1982 showed 29 percent of women surveyed reported being physically or psychologically forced to have sexual intercourse.

In 1984, 20 percent of the female students questioned in a study at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, said they had been physically forced to have intercourse while on a date. At Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, 16 percent of the women surveyed reported they were raped by an acquaintance and 11 percent of the men said they had forced sexual intercourse on a woman. And another study coauthored by Auburn's Burkhart showed 15 percent of the male respondents reporting having raped a date.

I Never Called it Rape. Copyright © by Robin Warsaw. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword to the New Edition
Introduction 1
1 The Reality of Acquaintance Rape 11
2 Women You Know 27
3 Why Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape Are So Widespread 35
4 Why Women Are "Safe" Victims 48
5 The Aftereffects of Acquaintance Rape 65
6 Men Who Rape Women They Know 83
7 Gang or "Party" Rapes 99
8 Teenagers and Acquaintance Rape 115
9 Police, Court, and University Responses to Acquaintance Rape 127
10 For Women: How to Prevent Acquaintance Rape 151
11 For Men: The Benefits of Change 161
12 Whose Responsibility Is It? Parents, Schools, Lawmakers, and Acquaintance Rape 168
13 Helping the Acquaintance-Rape Survivor 180
14 What to Do if Acquaintance Rape Happens to You 185
Afterword: The Methods Used in the Ms. Project on Campus Sexual Assault 189
Selected Bibliography 211
Resources 217
Index 223
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