What Is Unintentional Rape?
Unintentional rape may be a topic that many people think is unheard of. It is thought that there is only one definition of rape which is the dictionary definition stating that is it “unlawful sexual intercourse.” (rape definition) So then the question is, what is unintentional rape and how does it differentiate from other types of rape?
(This short clip shows what consent is and that yes means yes and no means no.)
Believe it or not, there are multiple types of rape and sexual assault Rape can be defined as forced sexual intercourse and unintentional rape is defined as sexual intercourse without consent. Unintentional rape occurs most often in high school and college. Usually alcohol or drugs plays a major factor in the situation. This type of rape can occur in many different situations such as at the setting of a party where many people are under the influence of alcohol and one partner did not have consent of the other but did not force it to happen. This is considered unintentional rape, one of many types of sexual assault.
The difference between rape and unintentional rape is a grey cloud because it is all sought to be rape. The main different is that rape is forced upon another and unintentional is without consent. For example, a couple is in a room and one begins to force themselves upon the other. If one individual says no, but the other continues with their actions and forces the other to have sex with them, this would be justified as rape. On the other hand, a couple is at a party and they are both intoxicated, they go into the bedroom and have intercourse but the next day one says that it was without consent. That is considered unintentional rape. There isn’t much difference between the two besides forcing someone to do so and doing so without having consent.
Alcohol and Sexual Assault
One in three sexual assault cases contain that either the victim or perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the rape. Alcohol makes rape easier for the perpetrator by making them more comfortable with the people in the setting they’re in and for a victim to be easily persuaded, if even at all, and easily taken advantage of.
As Dr. Hampton states in his article, “Alcohol acts as a permission slip. By reducing inhibitions, alcohol often makes it more likely that someone will choose to sexually assault another person.” He also uses the analogy that alcohol does not cause sexual assault any more than putting gas in your car to get to a destination, gas makes it easier for the car to do its job, much like alcohol enables the perpetrator to be more courageous. When impaired, it is often hard to perform physical tasks, which means that for a perpetrator to commit sexual assault they have to overcome their impairment in order to go through with the sexual assault. While substance abuse and sexual assault are separate things, they often tie into each other. If someone commits sexual assault while under the influence, they have to first, admit to the consumption of alcohol and two, take responsibility of the assault. No matter what, the perpetrator has to understand that any sexual contact without consent is still sexual assault.
Most students forget that alcohol is the number one date rape drug. Approximately 97,000 students between the age of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol related sexual assault or date rape. Although it is important to protect yourself against other date rape drugs, alcohol is by far the most widely used. For further information on this topic, visit the website provided. (Stanford statistics regarding alcohol and rape)
How Drugs and Alcohol Play a Role In Rape Crimes
Drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to the sexual activity and are often used in order to minimize the resistance and memory of the victim of the sexual assault. Because of these drugs, victims may be physically helpless, unable to refuse sex, and unable to remember what happened. The drugs often have no color, odor or taste and are easily added to flavor drinks without the victim’s knowledge.
Drink spiking is often associated with malicious acts including violence, theft and drug assisted sexual assault, and it is also used for misguided pranks or jokes. It is important to note that drink spicing is illegal, whether or not a theft or assault has been carried out. It can result in a maximum of 10 years in prison for anyone who is found guilty. If an assault, rape or robbery has also been taken place, the sentence will be even higher. Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without the victim’s active consent. This means that they did not agree to it, even if they have taken drugs or alcohol voluntarily. The drugs used in drink spiking are often referred to as “date rape drugs”, although they are not always used for sexual assault. To get a better understanding, the link in parenthesis will take you to the site of information. (Rape involving drugs and alcohol)
Experience After Unintentional Rape
After reading the article “What Many Men Don’t Understand about Sexual Assault”, it is evident that survivors go through a very hard time after they have been raped.
People often don’t immediately know they’ve been sexually assaulted. If someone hit you with a lead pipe you’d know immediately (or whenever you woke up) that you’d been assaulted. But sexual assault is physical aggression plus sexuality. Often, the victim has to reflect back on her or his experience before becoming aware that consent was violated. Often, people don’t know this definition of sexual assault. They’ll explain their trauma in another way “I was drunk,” “I don’t choose partners well,” or “Look at how I was dressed.” It can take years of therapy before someone becomes aware they were assaulted. It is difficult for many to report sexual assault because of the personal nature of the trauma. The community often reacts in the following ways: “what did he do to her that she would want to get back at him like his?” But victims are out for justice because victims are sometimes blamed; survivors are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’re traumatized, their grades may be dropping, maybe they’re withdrawn socially, but they can’t say why, because institutions are failing them. People around them often assume that the survivor is responsible because the survivor is “Crazy.” The rapist can say that she wanted it and then regretted it so then they say that the victim is crazy. Men have been labeling women as “crazy” for years. Very unfairly, as rapists carry on unknowingly giving silent support to a culture that forces victims to hide sexual assault. When men are the victims, they often end up hiding it even more frequently, because many men don’t believe it happens to other men. You can never know how badly someone has been hurt by sexual assault. You are not in the persons head, so you don’t have the right to say that someone has overreacted. (What is it like after being raped?)
Tips on How to Avoid Rape:
Tips on how to avoid rape: Visit this site to learn more about tips and other support.
- Always stick with your friends!
- Hold on to your drink, even when you go to the bathroom.
- If your drink is out of your sight, even for a few seconds, get a new one. Spiking a drink with a date rape drug can happen quickly.
- Don’t accept a drink from anyone.
- Don’t share drinks.
- Don’t drink from punch bowls or open containers.
- Don’t drink anything that tastes strange.
- Avoid clubs or parties that charge men but let women enter and drink for free.
- Always keep your cell phone charged and on you. You never know when you’ll need it.
- Make sure you always have a ride home or a plan to walk home with a friend or roommate.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, leave and get to a safe place.
These tips are to keep yourself aware of your surroundings. That is the most important factor in protecting yourself. Unintentional rape can be so easily blamed on the victim because you were out of control of your own body. By keeping watch of your drinks and knowing your limits you can lessen the chance of this happening. When you go out to party with your friends, go out to have a good time, not to get blacked out drunk. You can be taken advantage of and people do not see this as a crime because they believe you should have had control over your body. That is ridiculous and no one should ever take advantage of you.