Acquaintance Rape

 

Would you call this rape?

 

Cathy and Jim were study partners for their math class. Together, they had muddled through formulas and proofs for an entire term. Dead week came around and Cathy and Jim were at Jim’s apartment studying for their math final. In the middle of the evening, Jim suddenly moved closer to Cathy and put his hand on her knee. Surprised by Jim’s advances, Cathy pulled away and grew tense. Despite Cathy’s verbal protest and rejections, Jim moved closer and continued his advances. Cathy could not resist Jim’s strength any longer. He had intercourse with her. Afterwards, Cathy ran back to her dorm room in the dark. She did not tell anyone until a month after it happened.

By going to Jim’s apartment, did Cathy lead Jim to believe that she wanted to have intercourse? Should Cathy have to do more than struggle and verbally reject Jim to make him stop?

The above scenario is an example of acquaintance rape, forced sexual intercourse by someone the victim knows. Cathy and Jim had known each other before he attacked her. Cathy trusted him enough to be comfortable alone with him in his apartment.

 

Myth:

Rape is just a little unwanted sex.

Fact:

Rape is a crime of violence. Rape takes its toll physically and emotionally. It often results in sexual and reproductive injuries, as well as causing a wide array of emotional problems including an inability to trust, phobias, depression and even suicide. (Leidig, Margorie Witlaker, Ph.D. The continuum of violence against women: Psychological and physical consequences. Journal of American College Health, 40(4) Jan.92, p. 149-155.)

Fact:

In 55% of campus sexual assaults, the offender and/or victim were drinking or using drugs (Koss, 1988).