Date Rape

Rape is the forcing of someone to engage in sexual acts against his or her will. The term date rape refers to rape committed by a person who has had some sort of romantic relationship, or was on a date, with the victim. Date rape is most rampant among college and high school students, where the frequent overuse of alcohol and other drugs creates a large pool of people ripe for being taken advantage of sexually. To explore this concept, consider the following date rape definition.

Definition of Date Rape

Noun

  1. The crime of forcing or coercing sexual acts with a victim in a social situation, or on a date with the perpetrator.
  2. The crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with an individual who is under the influence of alcohol or other substances, especially if he or she was pressured to become intoxicated and have sex.

Origin

1980-1985        Americanism

What is Rape

Rape is a crime of violence, which specific definition varies slightly by state law, and may be classed with other crimes of sexual violence, such as “sexual abuse,” and “sexual assault.” Historically, the FBI dubbed the crime of rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” In 2013, the FBI instituted a long-overdue update to its definition of rape. Though specific and graphic, the newly adopted definition of rape makes clear the heinous nature of this crime, and allows for the prosecution of rape perpetrated against male victims.

NOTE: This definition is graphic, but necessary to fully describe the violent crime of rape.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting definition, rape is: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

This new definition also combines what were previously classified as three separate sex offenses: (1) rape, (2) sodomy, and (3) sexual assault with an object.

What is Date Rape

The terms date rape and acquaintance rape are often used interchangeably, but date rape specifically refers to any act under the legal definition of rape in which there has been some type of dating, romantic, or potentially sexual relationship between the perpetrator and victim. Acquaintance rape refers to rape in which the parties know one another, having such a casual relationship as co-workers, neighbors, or friends. When a perpetrator uses physical force or psychological intimidation to coerce a victim to engage in any sexual act against his or her will, it is considered to be rape. Many people do not understand that having sex with an individual who is unable to give consent because of incapacity caused by alcohol or drugs is also considered to be rape, and is a felony crime of violence.

For Example:

Susanna meets up with John at a party, where everyone is drinking and having a good time. John makes sure to keep Susanna close by, and to refill her glass often, encouraging her to “drink up!” Eventually, John helps a stumbling Susanna into his car, and takes her to his apartment, where he has to help her up the steps to get inside. John and Susanna have sex, and Susanna wakes up confused, in a strange place.

The next day, having realized what must have happened, Susanna is humiliated and makes a police report. A medical examination is performed, and John is arrested and charged with rape. Whether this would be considered date rape (as the two could have been considered to be on a date of sorts), or acquaintance rape, doesn’t matter at this point. John is shocked and outraged that “she would do this to” him, as he didn’t physically force her to have sex.

The fact is, Susanna was not legally capable of giving consent for anything, as she was under the influence of alcohol, which was obvious by the fact that John had to physically help her outside and into his car, and then to help her up the steps into his apartment. John has committed rape, which is a felony violent crime.

Date Rape Drugs

In the 1990s, certain date rape statistics showed that the use of certain drugs for the purpose of making it easier to convince or coerce an individual to engage in sex skyrocketed. Researchers in a 1999 study found that the most commonly used so-called “date rape drugs” included:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (commonly known as “GHB”)
  3. Rohypnol
  4. Other Benzodiazepines (including Xanax, and Klonopin)

Date rape drugs are frequently referred to as “club drugs,” because they are most popular at dance clubs, rages, concerts, and other gathering venues. Such mind-altering drugs are used on both men and woman. Commonly used nicknames for these popular date rape drugs include:

Drug

Nicknames

Potential Side Effects

Rohypnol Circles
Forget Pill
Mexican Valium
Mind Erasers
Poor Man’s Quaalude
Rib
Roach
Roofies
Rope
Trip-and-Fall
Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
Difficulty with motor movements
Problems talking
Nausea
Can’t remember what happened while drugged
Loss of consciousness (black-out)
Problems seeing
Dizziness, confusion, sleepiness
Lower blood pressure
Death
GHB Bedtime Scoop
Cherry Meth
Easy Lay
G
Georgia Home Boy
G-Juice
Gook
Goop
Great Hormones
Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
Liquid E
Liquid Ecstasy
Liquid X
Relaxation, drowsiness, dizziness
Nausea, vomiting
Tremors
Sweating
Problems seeing
Loss of consciousness (black-out)
Can’t remember what happened while drugged
Problems breathing
Slow heart rate
Seizures
Coma
Death
Ketamine Black Hole
Bump
Cat Valium
Green
Jet
K
K-Hole
Kit Kat
Psychedelic Heroin
Purple
Special K
Super Acid
Awareness of what is happening, but inability to move
Distorted perceptions of sight and sound
Lost sense of time and identity
Out of body experiences
Dream-like feeling
Feeling out of control
Impaired motor function, numbness
Problems breathing
Nausea, vomiting
Memory problems
Aggressive or violent behavior
High blood pressure
Slurred speech
Convulsions

Sexual Assault and Date Rape Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization division, completed a National Crime Victimization Survey in 2010. The results regarding sexual assault and date rape statistics are troubling:

  • Reports – In 2010 alone, more than 188,000 reports of rape and/or sexual assault were made in the U.S. It is estimated that only 40 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are ever reported to law enforcement officials. Of those reporting, only about 2 percent are men.
  • Time of Occurrence – More than half of the reported rapes and sexual assault crimes took place between the nighttime hours of 6 pm and 6 am.
  • Victimization – Females are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault, at 182,000, compared to 40,000 male victims. Most victims of rape or sexual assault are females under the age of 25 years.
  • Acquaintance or Date Rape – Most rapes committed against women are committed by someone well known to her, such as a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, friend, co-worker, acquaintance, or family member.
  • Admitting Coercive Acts – More than 43 percent of college men admitted in a survey that they had used coercive acts, including encouraging the use of alcohol and drugs, and ignoring when a woman has said “no,” to have sex with a woman.

The Conviction of Andrew Luster

Andrew Luster, heir to the Max Factor cosmetics empire, grew up a bored trust fund kid in Malibu, California. Supported by a $3.1 million trust fund, Luster lived a playboy lifestyle, traveling, fishing, and surfing, until he was accused of a series of rapes.

Three separate women, the first a 21-year old college student in 2001, the second a 17-year old in 2003, and the third, a woman with whom Luster later had a relationship with in 2004, accused Luster of giving them the date rape drug GHB, and raping them while they were unconscious. After arresting Luster, police found, in his home, empty GHB vials, and a host of other recreational drugs, as well as videotapes of Luster raping the accusing women. Police also found dozens of videotapes dating as far back as 1991 in which Luster raped multiple women while they were comatose, in locations from California to Las Vegas, Arizona to Mexico.

Prosecutors requested Luster’s bail be set at a minimum of $10,000, describing him as a sexual predator who had threatened to kill his victims, and a serious flight risk with access to his family’s fortune. Luster’s attorney argued his bail down to $1 million, and Luster was released. During his 2003 trial, Andrew Luster indeed fled the country.

The judge ordered the trial to continue without him and, on January 22, 2003, the jury found Luster guilty of 86 of the 87 charges against him. These included 20 counts of drug-induced rape, 17 count of raping an unconscious victim, and multiple counts of committing other sexual acts by use of drugs. The court sentenced Luster to serve 6 years in prison for each of the 20 counts of rape, to be served consecutively, which means that each sentence must be completed before the next begins. He was also sentenced to another 4 years for a count of poisoning, which gave Luster a total of 124 years in prison. Additionally, Luster was ordered to pay a $1 million fine. Luster was tracked across the United States, and finally to Mexico, where he was captured by Dog the Bounty Hunter (Duane Chapman), and returned to the U.S. to serve his sentence.

How to Protect Against Date Rape

While there is no absolutely sure way to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted, there are some steps that can be taken to greatly reduce the likelihood. These largely build on the idea of being responsible for your own actions, and staying in control of yourself and your environment. Other steps to take include:

  • Don’t walk alone at night, even to your car.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be talked into doing something, or going someplace, you don’t want to.
  • Trust your feelings. If someone feels like a threat to you, or simply makes you feel uncomfortable, stop the relationship, whatever it may be, and never allow yourself to be alone with him or her.

Recommendations about Drinking and Going to the Club or Parties

  • Never accept drinks from other people, and don’t drink from common sources such as punch bowls.
  • Open containers yourself, or watch your drink being poured by the bartender.
  • Never share drinks.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times. If you go to the bathroom, get a new drink.
  • If you feel drunk without having consumed any alcohol, or if you feel too drunk for the amount you have consumed, get help right away.

Were You Raped

Many victims of date rape and acquaintance rape mistakenly feel they were not “raped,” but simply made a very bad decision, or failed to stop the act. The feelings of shame and self-blame often prevent such victims from reporting the crime – and it is a crime.

In order for sexual acts to be considered consensual, certain factors must be in place:

  1. Age of Consent – Both parties must be the “age of consent,” which in most states is 18.
  2. Mental Capacity – Both parties must have the mental and legal capacity to give consent. This means that some people, including some elderly people, some people with disabilities, and anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who is unconscious or sleeping, cannot legally give consent.
  3. Active Agreement – Both parties must actively agree to engage in sexual activities. Under the law, “Stop” means stop, and “No” means no.

Related Legal Terms and Issues

  • Capacity – The ability to do something, or competency to perform an act, or the ability to comprehend both the nature and consequences of one’s choices and actions.
  • Coercion – The act of using force or intimidation to ensure compliance.
  • Felony – A crime, often involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor. Felony crimes are usually punishable by imprisonment more than one year.
  • Perpetrator – A person who commits an illegal or criminal act.
  • Victim – A person who is injured, killed, or otherwise harmed as a result of a criminal act, accident, or other event, or one who is deceived by the dishonest act of another.

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