15 ways to prevent date rape- Part 1 - Preparing for date

Trauma, abuse and bereavement / Category / Emile Du Toit / May 10th 2014

Steps to avoid being date raped

Going out on a date is exciting, romantic and a vital part of exploring our sexuality and eventually finding that special person to spend the rest of our days with! The goal of this blog is not to put a dampener on this experience by making you spend your whole date worrying about what might go wrong. Most of us have enough on our plate already with deep metaphysical issues such as ‘will they like me?’, ‘will I be bored out of my mind?’, ‘which shirt should I wear?’and ‘will I land that goodbye kiss?’

In fact the goal of this blog is to allow you to become really proficient at maximizing your safety so that you DON’T have to spend your evening worrying about your safety. Most importantly, it is designed to provide 15 easy steps to help you have your amazing romantic experience without a seriously unhappy ending.

I have split these 15 steps for preventing date rape into three convenient blogs, with this being the first:

Preparing for your date

The date itself

The end of the date

The end of the date

But before we get in to the steps let’s just take a look at the reality of who these rapists actually are.

The reality of acquaintance rape and date rape

Sadly, most people are raped by someone they know! Here is a breakdown of the USA statistics, taken from Rape the harsh reality in my research series on how to prevent being raped.

  • 73% of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim 5 7. 11
  • 38% of all rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim
  • 28% are in a (sometimes still budding) romantic relationship with the victim
  • 7% are related to the victim
  • Equally, over half of all rapes occur within a mile of home
  • Most date rapes occur on the way, or when the victim arrives home

Practical ways to prevent date rape: preparing for your date

This blog looks at steps 1 - 5 in preventing date rape. As a part of the 15 steps to preventing date rape you also need to follow steps 6 - 10 in the blog The date itself, as well as steps 11-15 in the blog The end of your date.

1. Pick a safe spot for your first date

Unless you know the guy really well, you definitely want to be avoiding secluded romantic locations. Pick a spot that has other people around and that is easy to exit when you need to reach your car. Restaurants are generally safe places as they have customers and staff and tend to have secure bathrooms on the premises.

2. Don’t ever go together

I recall setting up a date not so very many years ago with a young lady that I hardly knew at all. There had been enough in first impressions that it was something I was really looking forward to. To my chagrin though as the date night approached there was a definite cooling in atmosphere from the other side of the phone. I was unclear as to my error that led to this ever frostier reception, but figured I would chat to her about it when I saw her in person. Finally just a few hours before our date, I received a call from her (which I suspect took some courage). She meandered around for about a minute and then asked me in a somewhat wounded tone - why I hadn’t offered to pick her up! The insinuation was that this was un-gentlemanly behaviour indeed.

Frankly, I was startled by the innuendo and immediately acquiesced to her request. It did lead to a long conversation later in the evening –under the emotional protection of a number of drinks –as to how seriously unsafe I thought she was being. Rather ironically actually, we had that chat on the drive back to drop her off at her place.

Let me immediately point out that she wasn’t uneducated, out for a one night stand or in any way peculiar. She was merely looking for a bit of old fashioned chivalry that unfortunately in other circumstances might have seriously jeopardised her safety.

It doesn’t matter how much you would like that first date to be perfect, or how convenient it might seem, DO NOT GO TOGETHER.

Most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, most happen when one or more parties has been drinking, and the highest percentage happen within a kilometre of (either) home as well as at the end of the evening. You do the math!

If you would like more information on this you might want to take a look at Acquaintance rape which is the 3rd blog in my series on How to prevent being raped.

3. Put some boundaries and expectations in before you go on the date

Whether you see him on campus or at work or out with your friends, or indeed have only had contact with him online, you need to start being assertive before the date. This doesn’t have to be some stern, buzz killing soap box monologue! Just get across to him what works for you on first dates. You can drop all the information he needs without making him feel uncomfortable.

If you struggle with these conversations than at the least use helpful analogical stories like ‘the last internet date I (or my friend) had the guy tried to cop a feel when we (they) stood up, so I (she) certainly never saw him again’. The clearer you are the less he can claim misinterpretation, and the more assertiveness / righteous aggression you are likely to be able to muster in the moment if necessary.

4. Always have someone who knows that you are out on a date, who you are with and also where you are going

You need to have a ‘buddy system’where someone is expecting a call from you about 15 minutes in to the date. They should also understand that if you text your ‘alarm word’they should then call you back and provide your chosen excuse to leave the restaurant. I must point out that I have been on several dates over the years where women called or texted a friend or parent just to say that things were okay. If he is a decent guy then he shouldn’t mind at all as he should want you to feel comfortable and safe.

5. Always carry self-defence weapons

Make sure you are always armed. It doesn’t matter what he might or might not think! If he is actually a stand-up guy then it won’t matter to him if you end up saying goodbye to him at the end of the evening with your pepper spray in one hand and your Taser in the other…You are also demonstrating early on in a potential relationship that you respect yourself and expect him to do the same.

The next 5 practical ways to prevent rape are discussed in the article 15 practical ways to prevent date rape - the date itself.

Like what you read? Why not share it with your friends

Follow Us
rss
pinterest
Like Us
pinterest