The Date Rape Prevention Book: The Essential Guide for Girls and Women

The Date Rape Prevention Book: The Essential Guide for Girls and Women

by Scott Lindquist

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570714740
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 01/01/2000
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.89(h) x 0.55(d)

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Chapter One


redefining
rape


Rape is a sexual assault in which a person uses his penis or other object to commit vaginal, oral, or anal penetration of a victim, by force or threat of force, against the victim's will, or when the victim is physically and/or mentally unable to give consent.

    Date rape is simply a rape that happens between two parties who are dating.

    Acquaintance rape is a rape that happens when the victim and perpetrator are acquainted. The majority of rapes are actually acquaintance rapes, because in almost every case, the rapist gets to know the victim at least enough for her to drop her guard. Once she lets him into her confidence and begins to trust him, he strikes.

    It is important to realize that not every victim of rape has signs of physical abuse. Just because her clothes are not shredded, or her bones aren't broken, doesn't mean she didn't resist or that she wasn't raped. The threat of force is, in many cases, just as intimidating as actual violence for the victim. The rapist has used fear to get control of her.

    Even though rape is a life-threatening situation, the victim of acquaintance rape may not perceive it as such. The primary difference between stranger rape and date/acquaintance rape is the relationship between the victim and the rapist. The fact that she supposedly knows the rapist at least superficially, may make it more difficult to identify him as dangerous. This fact also may delude her friends and family into disbelieving her. Even more, knowing him can alsodilute a woman's normal self-defense response to her attacker and cause her to hesitate in reporting the crime and seeking help for herself.

    Date/acquaintance rape can happen to anyone who goes out on a date with or encounters a man who wants power over her in the form of sex and refuses to take no for an answer. Date/acquaintance rape accounts for 84 percent of all reported rapes, and yet it is estimated that only 5 percent of date/acquaintance rapes are reported.

    Is it possible that the most charming guy, who may be the leading quarterback for the high school football team, son of the mayor, president of the senior class, or the "perfect gentleman" who works or lives next door, can also be a rapist? Yes, if the circumstances are right and he thinks he can get away with it.


Reality Check: After you say, "No," it is rape.


    Many men's definition of rape does not apply to their own behavior or that of their male friends. Many men, as well as many women, honestly believe that men cannot control themselves when they are sexually aroused. They believe the girl or woman is responsible both for arousing and for controlling the man. This is absolute rubbish. At any age, a man is perfectly able to control his sexual drive at any point, from first arousal to climax. However, the attitude that the man is not responsible for his actions with women is not a new idea. Many men, young and old, still have the fantasy that once aroused, they have a right to have sex with a woman, regardless of her wants, desires, or needs.

    In a recent seminar at a prominent university fraternity in Georgia, I was amazed at the attitude of the men I was addressing. When asked, "How many 'No's' does it take before you finally stop your sexual pursuit?" the answer was, "Twenty or thirty." In fact, the president of the fraternity actually said, "If we give women the right to say 'No,' it gives them too much power." But, this kind of attitude is not exclusive to young college males. I was shocked when I gave a similar talk at a local church's nondenominational singles group. The participants were middle-aged, successful adults, including doctors, lawyers, and business executives. One actually stood up and said: "If a woman gets in my Mercedes without wearing a bra, she's asking for it!" Another man agreed, saying that any woman who goes up to a man's apartment, or allows a man into her apartment, is saying she wants to have sex. Such attitudes have been created by and taught by fathers, grandfathers, and yes, even mothers. Some women today still believe that it's a woman's job to control the man's behavior, and that women just have to tolerate the assaults.

    Rape is about power. Men rape to get power over women. These men may feel powerless in their lives and so look for a way to increase their sense of self-worth by controlling and manipulating another "weaker" human being. Of course, this is a flawed idea, and rape doesn't give the rapist any lasting sense of power or self-worth, so he may continue to commit the crime until it becomes increasingly violent.


Reality Check: All rapists are serial rapists—they rape until they
are stopped, averaging four to five rapes. They rarely get help
themselves, i.e., they don't stop until they're stopped.


    Let's be clear about this point of control. A woman is not responsible for keeping a man in control of his own sexual responses. Each man is responsible for his own actions and no matter what a woman does, he has no right to any sexual contact with her against her will or without her knowledge. Rape is not just "he said/she said." Rape is not just a misunderstanding or the result of a lack of communication. Rape is an act of choice to commit a crime, to forcibly obtain power over another individual through the means of sexual assault.


Reality Check: Rape is not just a misunderstanding. Rape is a criminal
act of choosing to overpower a woman and impose sexual intercourse
on her without her consent or without her knowledge.


Chapter Two


what makes a
woman vulnerable


The term "date/acquaintance rape" is used today to mean any situation in which the assailant merely is known to the victim. It should be understood that just because a woman is not dating the perpetrator doesn't mean he can't be a date/acquaintance rapist. Any man who has access to a woman can commit rape, including her doctor, lawyer, pastor, teacher, delivery man, salesman, brother, father, or friend.


Reality Check: You are five times more likely to be
raped by someone you know than by a stranger.


    All women, no matter their ages, should remember that being desperate for companionship or willing to settle for any relationship in order not to be alone could lead to dangerous situations. Younger women put themselves at risk because they may not realize the potential for danger. More mature women may derive a false sense of security from their past dating experience and feel they are "older and wiser."


Points of Vulnerability


A False Sense of Security


    Date/acquaintance rape has touched nearly every college/university campus. Some educators, school officials, security staffs, and counselors are at a loss as to how to talk about stopping date rape without appearing to say that the university environment is unsafe. The reality is that a university is no more dangerous than any other high-density environment. However, many students approach this community environment with little or no awareness of the possible dangers.

    First-year students are caught up with being on their own away from home. Tragically, the thrill of that freedom supersedes any thought that crime, specifically sexual assault, can happen to them. Most of the time, the excitement of having her own place as well as the determination to "make it" without parental controls can silence the real dangers of being a single woman on her own. The euphoria of living away from home on a college campus can create a false sense of security. For this reason, young women often get into situations, usually with alcohol and/or drugs, in which they are easy prey for more experienced men. It is common for students to take unnecessary risks while at school, because they feel invulnerable and protected in the college environment. In addition, young women may want to have a good time and party with alcohol just like the guys. This can be a dangerous mistake.

    Mature women believe they can let their guard down because they have dated before. The dynamics of starting a new relationship can be very difficult, especially if the woman is dating again for the first time in many years. Beyond the ready-made social environment of a university campus, it can be more difficult to meet eligible men to date. Loneliness or insecurity may cause a woman to go out with men she might not ordinarily consider a good match, or she might meet men through personal ads or at singles bars where she really won't know anything about them before the dating begins. To some degree, a mature woman can use this to her advantage, as she is less likely to think she knows the man well after only a few encounters than a college student who may be fooled by the apparent safety of her campus environment. Although she's had more dating experience, a more mature woman may have forgotten the realities of being with a "stranger." Fears, insecurities, and family may complicate even the simplest of friendships. If she's going out with someone after a long marriage of twenty or thirty years, she may find out quickly that times have changed. She will need to think about her own physical safety and take the same precautions that a younger woman should take.


A False Sense of Intimacy


    Thinking she knows a man after only one or two encounters, or after seeing him only in public, can place a woman in jeopardy. Familiarity breeds a dropping of one's guard. We are taught as youngsters to fear strangers, but not friends and acquaintances. Yet, we are in far greater danger from those we know (or think we know) than from a stranger. It is especially inconceivable to a young, naive woman that she could be assaulted by the very guy who shares her classes with her. Even a more mature woman, if she wants a relationship badly, will ignore her instincts and perhaps forgo cautionary behaviors in order to give herself a green light for the relationship. Remember, you never really can know an individual in one or two encounters. It is essential for women to observe a person in a variety of social situations over a period of time before allowing herself to be in a vulnerable situation with him.


Misleading Appearances


    Appearances can be deceptive and are, unfortunately, not a foolproof indicator of what may be going on below the surface. The majority of rapists are middle-class white men. Neat clothing and grooming may be reassuring, but it is more to the point to inquire into a man's attitudes towards women and to carefully observe how he treats you.

    The rapist desires power more than sex. We tend to think that men who are desirable and attractive can't be rapists. Not true. These kind of men can be just as mixed up about sexual coercion as less desirable men. The average rapist is not a twisted, ugly monster who lurks in the bushes. The average rapist looks like, and maybe is, the guy next door.


Drinking or Taking Drugs


    The vast majority of date and acquaintance rapes involve abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. Chapter six will give you more information on this subject. However, it is a fact that alcohol affects women differently than men. This disparity is due mainly to three factors: body size, body composition, and levels of alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme. On average, women are smaller than men and carry more body fat, which contains little water to dilute alcohol in the bloodstream. In addition, women have less of the metabolizing enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Together, these differences between male and female physiology result in a higher concentration of alcohol in a woman's body than in a man's, for the same amount of alcohol ingested. A woman, generally speaking, will become more intoxicated on less alcohol than a man will.


Allowing Herself to Become Isolated


    Criminals generally don't commit their crimes in view of the public. Likewise, a rapist will want to isolate his victim before he commits the crime. If a man attempts to sexually assault his date in a fairly public place, she stands a better chance of attracting attention and getting help than if she is alone with him. In order to prevent herself from becoming isolated, a woman must stay alert and plan ahead for how she would respond if the guy she is with shows signs of becoming dangerous. She must mentally prepare for that possibility.


Ignoring Warning Signals


    What are the warning signals that a man sends when he intends to take advantage of a woman? There is more to this than just the "nagging feeling" that you have in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong. In his book, The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker, the world's foremost violence prevention specialist, outlines the behaviors criminals use on women. You should be careful if the man you are with does any of the following:

• Behaves as if the two of you are more intimate than you really are, or uses a lot of "we" phrases and appears to be working too hard to make you trust him.

• Appears to be trying to charm you, i.e., disorient you or allure you. "Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social intercourse. It is not a character trait. It has been said that men are nice when they pursue, women are nice when they reject," says de Becker. Behaving in a way that is unusual or excessively ingratiating can be a sign that a man is attempting to manipulate or control you.

• Gives too many details about himself. If he is giving you information that you are not asking for, and that most people would not volunteer, he may be lying to you.

• Makes slight criticisms and offers you the opportunity to prove him wrong. For example, if a man says: "You're so beautiful that you are probably stuck up and wouldn't go out with someone like me," he may be hoping you'll say to yourself, "I'm not a snob, and I'll prove him wrong by going out with him." This is manipulation, as the man may be trying to get you to think going out with him is your idea, and that you have something to prove to him.

• Spends lavishly on you and appears to be expecting something in return. If the man is attempting to make you feel that you owe him something, you may be in for trouble.

• Makes unsolicited promises, such as, "I'll just have one drink, and then I'll go." An unsolicited promise can be a way to buy time or to give the man an opportunity to get control over you or the situation. If you have made it clear that you want your date to leave, and he says he'll leave "just as soon as I have another drink," or, "after I use the bathroom" or, "after I make a phone call," etc., you will have to be firm and communicate clearly and strongly your desire to leave or for him to leave.

• Attempts to control you. If your date is not allowing you to participate in decisions about the date, if he insists on ordering for you in a restaurant, on "taking care of everything," or suggests that you don't trust him, these may be warning signals.

• Says derogatory things about women. Expressing an attitude that women are inferior to men, that women should obey men, or that women are responsible for a man's sexual response can all be signs of trouble.

• Doesn't accept "No" for an answer. If he offers you a drink, or suggests that you go somewhere with him, and continues to press you even after you say, "No" you will have to be very firm and communicate very clearly. If he won't accept "No," for an answer on something small, he may not in regard to sex, either.


Ignoring Her Inner Guidance


    We live in a male-dominated culture that often debunks intuition and inner guidance. Women who trust their inner guidance may be ridiculed by men for not being logical and realistic. The truth is that your inner guidance or intuition is the most trustworthy and dependable barometer. The above manipulations and tactics that most criminals use also can be used by perfectly harmless men. So the problem is, how does a woman know when one or more of these techniques is being used by a man with dangerous intentions? The answer lies in her intuition. When it comes to danger, intuition is always right in at least two important ways: (1) It is responding to something real. (2) It has your best interests at heart.

    The following levels of intuition will give you an idea of how intuition works. According to de Becker, your intuition builds from curiosity to hunches, to gut feelings, to doubt, to hesitation, to suspicion, to apprehension, and finally to fear. Fear is the most important and critical. If you feel fear in a situation, honor it.

    The question then arises, "What makes a woman invulnerable?" It is not so much a question of invulnerability, since all of us are vulnerable to crime. It is rather a question of what makes a woman stronger and less likely to become a victim? The answer is knowledge, combined with a determination to act in her own best interest, regardless of what others think or do. The following chapters will give you that knowledge. The determination to use it is up to you.

Table of Contents

Introductionix
Section 1Date/acquaintance rape prevention
Chapter 1Redefining rape3
Chapter 2What makes a woman vulnerable7
Chapter 3One woman's story15
Chapter 4The date rape triangle29
Chapter 5Danger spots33
Chapter 6Alcohol and drugs: the rape enablers39
Chapter 7The four personalities of the rapist51
Chapter 8The ABCs of date rape63
Chapter 9What to do if you are confronted77
Chapter 10Weapons, martial arts, and self-defense courses85
Section 2Surviving and recovering from sexual assault
Chapter 11After the assault101
Chapter 12Physical and emotional recovery113
Section 3Sexual assault: harassment, stalking, dating, & domestic violence
Shapter 13Sexual harassment135
Chapter 14Stalking141
Chapter 15Dating and domestic violence161
Section 4What men must know
Chapter 16Advice for men173
Resources187
Suggested reading198
Notes202
Index204

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