Just like any sexual assault, date or acquaintance rape is not about love, passion, or even sex. It’s about aggression and control.

Date rape, also referred to as acquaintance rape, is sexual assault committed by someone the victim knows socially. It’s date rape when a victim does not consent to sex either because they are unwilling or unable to say “yes”. A person is unable to consent to sex when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A date rape perpetrator can be anyone known to a victim including a boyfriend or girlfriend, an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, a friend, a classmate, or a colleague at work.

Why victims don’t report date rape:

Unfortunately, date rape happens quite often, but it is usually not reported to authorities. There are several reasons why victims don’t come forward:

  • They don’t realize what happened to them was really rape

  • They are afraid they won’t be believed
  • They are worried that others, including their perpetrator, will be angry with them
  • They blame themselves or feel that they somehow deserved it
  • They are unaware of or discouraged by the criminal justice process

A victim of date rape, or any sexual assault, is never at fault. No one has the right to force or coerce another person into having sex.

The Myths

Here are just a few of the frequently heard myths about sexual assault victims and perpetrators:

“Did you see what ___ was wearing?!”

“___ was so drunk!”

“___ has sex with everyone.”

“Guys don’t get raped.”

“Guys can’t stop once they start having sex.”

“___ was flirting all night.”

“They’re dating. That’s not rape.”

“___ is the nicest guy ever! Not a rapist!”

“___ lies about everything.”

“They’ve had sex a million times already.”

The Facts

The fact is rape is rape – no matter what the victim was wearing, how they were behaving, what drugs or alcohol they consumed, their gender, or how many times or with how many people they had had sex with in the past.

Date Rape Drugs

Date rape drugs are used to control victims. The effects of these drugs can be felt within minutes and can last for hours. Date rape drugs can leave you feeling sleepy, drunk, disoriented, nauseas, confused, weak, numb, or out of control. Ultimately, they can cause you to pass out and forget everything that happened while you were on the drug. A person is unable to consent to sexual contact when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The 3 most common date rape drugs are:

  • rohypnol, also called roofies, lunch money, or mind erasers
  • GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), also known as cherry meth, energy drink or gook
  • ketamine, referred to as bump, special K, and super acid

These drugs are almost impossible to detect, especially in dark colored drinks or in a dark room. They are extremely dangerous and can lead to death if given to someone who has been drinking.

Alcohol and other drugs can also play a role in date rapes. These substances can impair judgment, lower inhibitions, and even allow aggression to surface in some people. Alcohol and drugs also make it harder to defend yourself or to get help if you need it.

Safety Tips:

  • Trust your gut. If it’s telling you that something isn’t right, then it probably isn’t.
  • Don’t believe the myths. The fact is that anyone can be a victim, and anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual assault.
  • Keep an eye on your drink at all times, including when it’s being made! If you lose sight of it at any point, get a new one.
  • Share these tips with your friends. Knowledge is power!

If you think you may be a victim of date rape, call Susan B. Anthony Project’s 24-hour crisis line at 860.482.7133.