Trauma, abuse and bereavement / Category / Emile Du Toit / May 10th 2014
This blog looks at steps 11-15 in 15 steps to preventing date rape, and covers the end of the date. It is suggested that you first read steps 1-5 in my blog Preparing for your date, as well as steps 6-10 in The date itself.
11. Don’t invite him in
So the evening has gone awesomely, you swung a turn at two different places after the restaurant, and are now both swishing down a last drink before heading home. According to your intuition – which is probably strongly negatively correlated with the amount of alcohol you have consumed - he is the one! You can already picture the ring, the dress and honeymoon! You have decided to kiss Mr Gorgeous goodbye to send him on his way. But then again he has clearly had a bit to drink and he has hinted that he could do with a coffee to sober up. You are so very close to your home anyway, and it would be kind of bitchy to leave him to the road in such a state. One coffee, 20 minutes, and then you will send him on his way…
This is a story I have heard so very often. Sometimes coffee is indeed all he wants to! Sometimes at this point he doesn’t even know what he wants himself.
But this is a somewhat generic story-line is a part of so very many rape stories that it just isn’t worth the risk.
If he is in any which way mature then he will have drank appropriately in order to drive home, or he will call a cab. More date rapes happen in some version of this scenario than in any other!
12. Do not spend this night together
Spending the first night together with someone you really don’t know is risky. Very risky… You are putting yourself in a situation where there are no witnesses and where brute strength will often win over. If you are just looking to ‘cuddle’ then this is not the night for it.
Even if you go into the situation looking for a ‘deep and meaningful’ one night stand, this does not mean that you will not be raped!
If you are feeling all warm and gooey inside then please realise that if he truly is the man of your dreams then there will be a near infinite number of future nights that you can spend in each other’s arms! However, if you have misjudged your suitor and he is really there for one thing only then at best the night of cuddling would be an ignis fatuus; at worst he might turn out to be one of those alarmingly high percentage of guys that will believe that he has earned what he wants and rape you.
13. If you have to shag him then be prepared!
In today’s world we have to be so cautious before we sleep with anyone. Nowadays sex comes with preparation – condoms, the pill, intrauterine devices and preferably written proof of an HIV test. Preventing rape is just another level of preparation.
Make sure you go to your home – you know the layout as well as the security devices that you have left in reachable places. Obviously it is preferable if you have a flatmate present, a protective neighbour or someone else sleeping over.
Never go back to his place - not even ‘just a brief stop’- as you will not know what to expect and you cannot prepare yourself.
14. Fight back!
Let me state clearly that not fighting back does not make a woman any more responsible for what happened. No is no, and all responsibility for the crime falls on that abomination that is the rapist.
However, fighting back is both effective and no more dangerous than not fighting back. Research shows clearly that women who fight back are (on average) no more likely to get hurt, or more severely injured, than those who do not. 1. 5. 6 Sadly, more passive strategies that have often been proliferated are ineffective. 1. 3. 4.
These might include going limp or using non forceful verbal strategies (pleading, crying etc.)
In contrast, fighting back has shown to be effective: 1. 2. 4. 5. 6.
15. If you are raped then report it immediately
Hopefully it will never come to this but if you are raped you need to go directly to the police.
Do not think, do not wash, do not change; just go!
Hopefully you have already read my blog psychosocial barriers to avoiding rape in my series on how to prevent being raped. In it we examine some of the rape myths, and why women tend to feel so guilty, especially when they are date raped. But let me state this clearly…
It is not, in any which way, your fault.
No matter what mistakes you might have made you are in no which way responsible. By reporting the rape you are breaking the silence that keeps you hostage and your healing can begin. Yes, it is really important that you don’t wash or change as there is a lot of forensic evidence that they can acquire from a medical examination.
If you follow these 15 steps on how to prevent being date raped you be doing all that you can to protect yourself. This leaves you in a position to actually focus on having an incredibly memorable evening. Be mindful and drink in every minute of it. Happy dating!
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