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Date Rape

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Date rape is a term used to describe an assault or an attempt of an assault which is committed by an acquaintance or stranger and involves sexual intercourse without first obtaining consent from the victim (Albert, 2005). It can be a misleading term since the person who committed the crime might be new and not dating the victim thus could be a stranger or an acquaintance. Stranger rape is where the perpetrator is not known to the victim and may have met the victim for the first time. Date rape is also different from spousal rape where in spousal rape, the person who rapes the victim is in relationship with the victim but assaults or attempts to assault the victim sexually without the victims consent.

There are two sources of statistics in the United States where the information on rape crimes can be obtained. These are the Uniform Crime Reports and national crime victimization survey. The Uniform Crime reports are based on the reported cases of sexual assault. This is not a good way of obtaining the statistics because it is based on the reported cases. This is because most of the people do not report date rape cases and thus make it hard for the police to accurately estimate the crime rates. On the other hand, it has an advantage that it is cheap and does not need a lot of resources to gather the information.

The national crime victimization survey is another source of statics of rape crimes. It has an advantage that it almost accurate because people will tend to reveal in surveys the rape ordeals they have gone through. However, it is expensive and requires more resources. The incident of crimes related to rape is very many. In the year 2010 alone, the Uniform crime reports showed that in a population of two hundred and twenty seven thousands, three hundred and seventy three people, there were ninety six cases of rape in the city of Birmingham in Alabama State. This shows that the incidence is very high (FBI, 2010).

Mostly the person uses drugs whch interfere with the physical or mental function of the victim and thus facilitating the rape. The drugs used for these purpose are called date rape drug. Date rape drug refers any drug which assists the commissioning of date rape. Such drugs have hypnotic, sedative, amnesiac and dissociative effects. These drugs are added to a drink or food without the knowledge of the victim (Albert, 2005).

According to Albert, (2005), the most common date rape drugs are benzodiazepams, alcohol and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. Alcohol is used most commonly in date rape compared to the other two types of drugs. Most of the assailants use alcohol since the victims accepts to take it willingly in addition to being a legal drug. When the victims drink enough so as to lose their inhibition and consciousness, their judgment is impaired and therefore, even if the victim consents to sex, it can be termed as rape since the victim did not have a soba judgment.

As told of by Albert, (2005), Benzodiazepams are drugs which are used in the treatment of panic attacks, anxiety and insomnia. The most common drug of use in this class of drugs in date rapes is flunitrazem. The drug incapacitates the victims which prevents them from having a resistance against the sexual assault. The drug also produces amnesic effects to the victim so that the victim will not be able to remember the events which they experienced during the sexual assault. It takes between thirty to forty minutes for its effects to be realized after its injection and last for about eight hours to clear its effects in the person. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate effects are similar to the effects of alcohol. The victims may not be aware that they had injected the drug since when dissolved in water is invisible and odorless. Although it has a salty taste, it is not possible to taste it when dissolved in drinks (Jenny, 2007).

According to Albert, (2005), there are two sources of data about date rape. First, Victimization surveys can exxpose the extent of the crime. The victims of date rape give the information for showing the extent of the crime. Its advantage is that the government can know the crime statics more accurately than using the justice system since some of them do not report the crimes to the law enforcers. However, the data may be manipulated by the victims since some of them do not want to be identified as victims of date rape (Mary, 2009). The other way is collecting the information from the perpetrators where they accept to carrying out the date rape offense. This also makes it be manipulated as some offenders do not want to expose themselves. Lastly, the use of criminal justice system can determine the figures of date rape although this is very inaccurate since most of the date rape victims do not report to the justice system (Raymond, 2010).

As argued by Raymond, (2010), the perpetrator of the date rape crime can be a friend, a spouse, a relative, an employer, a lover, co-worker, a neighbor or a boss among others. The perpetrator usually has some information on the habits of the victim. In addition, the victim tends to trust the offender before the crime which is what makes it easy for the perpetrator to commit his crime. Thus, the victim and the attacker have a close relationship (Mary, 2009).

The prosecution of date rape victims is face with the problem of misconception of presumed innocence. Many people who are non-lawyers believe that the person who is being accused of date rape is innocent until the time the person is proven guilty. However, the presumption of innocence on the perpetrator amounts to a thinking that the victim is lying which has negative effects o the victim. Another problem with the date rape is that the society tends to view the victim as the cause of the problem. The society blames the victim for engaging in acts which predispose him or her to date rape. They therefore suggest that it is the victim to blame for the sexual assault (Mary, 2009).

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