There are a number of danger signals to look for in a date that may be helpful in preventing a bad situation.
When Rape Happens
- The man does not listen to you, ignores you or talks over you. This shows that he has little respect for you and might not buy it when you say "No." He's not worth your time.
- The man does not respect your personal space boundaries. You don't need to have some creep pawing all over you.
- The man shows hostile feelings toward women. The jump from hostile feelings to violent acts is a small one, particularly when alcohol is involved.
- The man does what he wants regardless of your wishes. If he makes all the decisions about where to go and what to do without asking your opinion, he may not care whether you want to have sex or not.
- The man plays on your guilt when you don't give him what he wants. If he calls you uptight or a prude, don't let it get to you; remember, he just wants to have sex and doesn't really care about your feelings.
- The man acts possessive or jealous. Bad news. Guys like this usually have a bad temper, too.
- The man drinks heavily. If he's rejected, he may get angry and violent and try to force sex on you.
- The man has a primitive, chauvinistic attitude about "women and their place."
If you are raped, go to a friend's residence; you should not be alone. Do not shower or attempt to clean yourself. Physical specimens collected soon after the rape will be valuable evidence - even if you later decide not to press charges. Remember, alcohol abuse does not legally justify anyone's behavior, and cannot be used as an excuse in a court of law.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible; get examined and treated for possible venereal disease. Also, you may have internal injuries you're not aware of, so the sooner you get medical attention, the better.
Trauma, such as fear of being alone, fear of men, or sexual problems may be side effects of rape. Counseling is recommended to help you deal with any trauma you may experience; at the very least, we suggest you call the rape crisis hotline in your school or community.
The most important thing to remember is not to blame yourself. The rape was not your fault. Your behavior didn't cause it; the rapist caused the rape. Don't give the rapist the satisfaction of ruining your life. It's not ruined. Pick up the pieces, get well, and carry on. You owe it to yourself.