When some individuals think about rape what they imagine is an unknown lousy person coming out of the dark or laying ambush to grab an innocent person just to assault them by forcefully engaging in penetrative sex with the victim.
But, the truth is that not only strangers are capable of committing such a crime, but the closest person to you might be the culprit.
It is a widespread belief that females are mostly rape victims, but also males can be victims of rape. Furthermore, these days most acquaintances, friendship, and date rapes almost never lead to violence for obvious reasons, but sometimes it does happen.
When there is forceful sexual intercourse between two people who are familiar with each other, it is known as either an acquaintance rape or a date rape.
No matter the relationship between the two familiar people even if they are married, whenever there is no consent to sexual intercourse it is called rape.
What this means is that no individual has the right to forcibly have sex with another individual, because rape is an act of violence and aggression against the next person.
In many countries, it is not unheard of to hear people say things like “victims of rape asked for it because of the way they were dressed or the situations they found themselves”.
In a case where a lady was out on a date with a man and for some reason she has to sleep over in a hotel room and gets raped, people would assume that it is her fault because she slept in the hotel room when she could have left early and headed straight home.
Such a situation is called date rape and in no way is a victim guilty because nobody desires to be sexually violated.
Also not a lot of people agree that two persons who are in a relationship can have a rape situation because they assume that one partner owes the other partner sex.
This is a very wrong perception because when there is no consent, regardless of the relationship between both persons, whatever pleasure the experience would give becomes one-sided and the other partner is left in pain and disappointment. That is considered rape and no healthy relationship would involve force or pressure for sex.
The most common type of rape in recent times, especially since the emergence of the world of tinder is date rape.
Date rape can easily be described as any non-consensual sexual intercourse that is forced either physically or psychologically on a person by an individual that they are familiar with.
This is a criminal act that has become widespread in the society both with people that are known physically, people we meet online and sadly, with intimate partners.
The situation of date rape is quite a complex and difficult one in criminal law considering the relationship between the victim and rapist.
For many years, alcohol has been used as an aid to commit rape because it makes the crime easier. And it remains the most used item for sexual assault because it is cheap and usually does not require the application of force to make the victim consume it.
There are a few over-the-counter drugs used to commit date rape, but usually, these drugs are added to alcohol to make them more effective and unnoticeable to the victim.
Such date rape drugs are referred to as club drugs for the reason that they’re usually found in strip clubs, bars, and dance clubs.
Before the 18th century, in some countries like France, rape wasn’t identified as a crime. However, at the dawn of the 21st century, almost every state and federal government now treat the act of rape as a criminal offence.
However there are slight variations in the degree of punishment given to rape victims in different countries, and also there are variations in the terms that are now used to define the act of rape in these different countries.
However, the most common elements to identify rape with is the lack of consent from the victim.
For every date rape, the victim is usually stripped of the ability to decline or give permission as they’re often weakened by drugs and alcohol administer to them by the rape perpetrator. The concept of date rape is pretty new to a number of people.
A lot of us never knew there was such a thing as date rape, not until the issue was introduced publicly because of the high-profile trials of William Kennedy Smith and famous boxer Mike Tyson, more recently NBA star Kobe Bryant has also made the news in a case allegedly related to date rape.
Women between the ages of 16 to 28 are usually the target of rapists compared to women who are younger or older.
Apart from alcohol being one of the drugs used to commit the crime of rape other substances that have become tools for rape in recent times to include cocaine, marijuana.
Chloral hydrate, morphine, LSD, heroin, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and the three most commonly used drugs; Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, Rohypnol, and Ketamine. The drugs mentioned above were initially created to solve medical problems, but these days they have become the most used items in drug-related cases.
Just like alcohol, because these drugs have become easily accessible and cheap, and predators have noticed how fast they can make their preys become weak using these medicines, there is no doubt that the abuse is inevitable.
Most of this club drugs that I used to perpetuate rape are also known as recreational drugs. These over the counter drugs are desirable to sexual predators for a large number of reasons.
One primary reason is that they’re usually tasteless, mainly colourless and odourless making them very undetectable. Also after 72 hours of use, the trace of such drugs usually wears out of the body entirely so much so that even with a routine toxicology screening or blood test done, no evidence will be found.
Another reason why offenders use these club drugs is the fact that it can quickly be dropped into a victim’s drink, they dissolve really fast, and they make the victim become unconscious but responsive in such a way that they remember little or nothing about what has been done to their bodies.
This explains why some rape victims do not realise that they have been raped until a few hours later when they become conscious of their bodies making then poor witnesses if at all they have to defend themselves in court as a result of the amnesia caused by the drug.
Terrible Myths about rape victims
One of the most popular ideas about rape is that in one way or another the victim had enticed the predator to take an interest in raping them, either by putting on provocative clothing or by leading them on in a seductive manner.
While it may be true that some victims may have dressed provocatively or acted seductively, there is no rule against saying no to sexual advances, and once a person doesn’t give consent to sexual activity, it is considered rape if the other person goes ahead to have sexual intercourse with the victim forcefully.
Another popular myth about rape is that only females are victims. In the world we live in we’ve come to discover that both males can be raped and also the crime is limited to people of opposite genders, people of same sex can also rape each other in other words the act of rape has become fluid.
There is also the idea that if a rape victim wanted to prevent an attack, he or she would but in actuality, there are cases where the offender makes use of life-threatening weapons making the victim powerless.
Imagine what an offender in possession an arm such as a knife would do if a victim screams instead of running away. There is every chance that the victim will get killed by the offender.
The idea that rape occurs in hidden places and at night is also one that has proven to be false. These days, rape knows no location and time. It can be done anywhere, and at any time, in churches, in parking lots, in public restrooms, and basically, anywhere the rapist feels comfortable enough to carry out his activity.
Finally, a lot of people feel that only teenagers and adults can be victims of rape but young children and babies have been victims of rape on several occasions, and sometimes, they do not survive it.
Another wrong belief about rape is that men who have been victims enjoyed it. This is so false. Rape not only causes physical damage to people, but it also causes emotional damages. So while a man might not cry and chose to hide his experience because of shame, it doesn’t mean that he enjoyed being forced to engage in sexual activity.
False Beliefs about rapists
The same way there are wrong ideas about the victims of rape, there are also myths about the rapist themselves. One of those false ideas is that the act of sexual assault is impulsive, an act of passion, and uncontrollable. Another is that the victim is irresistible to the predator.
However, the truth about the situation remains that rape is never an act of passion or sexual desire but one of violence against another person.
Also, the majority of rapes that occur are deliberate, and most of the offenders stalk their victims, carry out research on where and when they can easily lay hold of the victims and also find out valuable information as to what will entice their victims.
Another false belief is that rape offender are usually found only in big cities. Surprisingly, these people can be anybody, and they can be anywhere attacking unexpectedly regardless of the shapes, sizes, social status, age, gender, or physical appearance of the rape victim.
However, victims in rural areas are too afraid to tell anyone because they have little or no access two agencies that will fight for them and they’re often scared of how other members of the society would view them once they report that they have been raped.
A lot of people like to assume that most rapists are black men, but in reality, the rapist can be black or white, tall or short, rich or poor. It doesn’t matter.