Date Rape - It Happens MUCH Too Often!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
A too-common reality
A dangerous crime
It is, unfortunately, a common occurrence.
You learn of another rape.
Another young girl.
Another young boy.

Either the victim or the perpetrator. You hear about another friend in her/his 20's or 30's or 40's or 50's or 60's or 70's or 80's or 90's ...raped! You can't believe it. Are you still trying to convince yourself that this is an unusual occurrence? Are you still trying to lull yourself into a comfort state with the promise to you that you will never be a victim, or know a victim? That your daughter, or friend, or niece or nephew or neighbor will not be victimized in this way? Decided that you don't know "those kind of people" who rape or get raped?
Everyone and anyone can be a potential victim. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of the rapes that occur - occur between people who know each other. It is scary to think that someone you know is more likely to harm you than someone you do not know. The fact, however, is that someone you know has a lot more access to you than someone who does not. That does not mean that you have to be afraid of everyone you know - but it really does mean that you owe it to yourself to pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to your relationship wants and needs. Pay attention to your instincts. If someone is saying or doing something that you do not like or leaves you feeling uncomfortable ... let them know. Do not second-guess yourself about what makes you uncomfortable.... certainly not at the moment you are experiencing the discomfort.
Do not assume that you can look at someone and know whether they are a rapist. Rapists come from all races, religions, cultures, educational levels, professional levels, economic levels, etc. etc. Sometimes - it is the person you least expect to be violent - who is violent. Rape occurs in marriages. It happens with professionals, it happens with religious leaders, political leaders, the boy who swore he loves you, the neighbor who "seemed so nice." It can happen. It does happen.
No, you do not want to live your life frightened. You should not live your life in fear. Nor should you live your life being cavalier about your person, your safety, your feelings, and your instincts. Do not knowingly put yourself in unsafe situations.
For instance, know who you are with, know where you are going, let someone else know where you are going, be very careful about accepting alcohol, do not drink in excess, practice safety measures. Pay attention to the person you are with - if you find that your feelings are not being taken into consideration; do not dismiss this as simply being with someone who likes to take charge. Recognize that your feelings and wishes are just as important as the person your with - and if the person you are with disagrees - do you really need to be with this person? Always require the people around you to respect you. If they do not - think about making different choices. Do not assume you do not have the right to choose with whom you will socialize. YOU do the choosing.
And if you ever find that you or someone you know is victimized by a rapist...please remember that:
  • The rape was not your fault.
  • You were in a life-threatening situation and anything that you did to survive was the right thing to do.
  • You are in crisis - please take very good care of yourself and get the help you need; the help you deserve.
  • Many people do not understand this crime - you do not have to expose yourself to them.
  • You are not alone unless you choose to be. Do not choose aloneness.
  • You have a right to cry and feel as upset as you feel.
  • You have NOT done anything wrong. You ARE the victim of a crime.
  • You did NOT "deserve" to be raped.