Date Rape

When people think of rape, they might think of a stranger jumping out of a shadowy place and sexually attacking someone. But it’s not only strangers who rape. In fact, about half of all people who are raped know the person who attacked them. Girls and women are most often raped, but men also can be raped.

Most friendships, acquaintances, and dates never lead to violence, of course. But, sadly, sometimes it happens. When forced sex occurs between two people who already know each other, it is known as date rape or acquaintance rape.

Even if the two people know each other well, and even if they were intimate or had sex before, no one has the right to force a sexual act on another person against his or her will.

Although it involves forced sex, rape is not about sex or passion. Rape has nothing to do with love. Rape is an act of aggression and violence.

You may hear some people say that those who have been raped were somehow “asking for it” because of the clothes they wore or the way they acted. That’s wrong: The person who is raped is not to blame. Rape is always the fault of the rapist. And that’s also the case when two people are dating — or even in an intimate relationship. One person never owes the other person sex. If sex is forced against someone’s will, that’s rape.

Healthy relationships involve respect — including respect for the feelings of others. Someone who really cares about you will respect your wishes and not force or pressure you to have sex.

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