Acquaintance rape

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Sexual assault between acquaintances consists of non consensual sexual activity
that does not include intercourse. “Non consensual” means that there is some use of force,
intimidation or manipulation, or that one of the parties is unable to give consent.
Inability to give consent would be likely, for example, if one of the parties is drunk or
unconscious. Guns, knives or other forms of violence do not have to be used for the
sexual activity to be considered non consensual. The victim does not have to resist for the
sexual activity to be considered non consensual. Often the person is afraid to say no, and
will not resist in the face of threats or overpowering.
Consent must be given each time people engage in sexual activity, and cannot be
assumed by previous consensual sexual activity with the same person. It also cannot be
assumed by consensual kissing or petting on the same occasion.


One survey of college campuses found that the risk of being raped by someone you know
is four times greater than the risk of being raped by a stranger. It also found that one in
four women surveyed were victims of attempted or completed sexual assaults, and that
84% of women who reported having been raped knew their attacker, and 57% happened
on dates. The risk of rape for women ages 16-24, prime dating age, is four times higher
than for any other population group. For college women, the risk of acquaintance rape is
highest during their freshman year. It is also important to remember that men can also be
victims of rape and sexual assault.


75% of men were drinking at the time of an acquaintance rape and 55% of the women were drinking at the time of the assault. In another survey of women on one campus, 80% said they were intoxicated at the time they experienced acquaintance rape.
If someone is intoxicated, they may be unable to consent to sexual activity. In addition,
alcohol and other drugs distort reality and impair judgment. People may put themselves
in riskier situations than they would otherwise, even before they actually feel drunk.
Motor reactions and physical responses are slower, and women are less able to fend off
an attack.


Current conceptions of rape and sexual assault typically include penetration, whether it be genital, oral, or anal, by part of the perpetrator’s body or object through the use of force or without the victim’s consent. While not discounting the victimization of men, sexual assault is a gendered crime, with women much more likely to be victimized then men . Indeed, compared to one in five American women, one in 71 men will be assaulted in his lifetime. 


Blaming the victim refers to the tendency to hold victims of negative events responsible for those outcomes While victim blaming can occur in a variety of situations, it appears to be particularly likely in cases of sexual assault . Assailants do tend to be found as more culpable for sexual assault than victims , but victims are blamed as well, to a degree that varies substantially depending on features of the assault, the victim, and the perceive.