Say NO! to Date Rape
By: Hilda Naval
A very romantic evening.
Candle-lit dinner for two遥ou and that guy you致e been crushing on for quite some time. It is a dream come true to finally spend the evening with him. Conversations come one after the other, and time runs fast; you wish the night would only get longer so as to spend more time with him. But the night痴 to be concluded somehow. After a very long talk over dinner, he offers you a drink he himself has made for you. 鄭 very sweet gesture・ you thought. However at the back your mind you hear questions, 鉄hould you always take that cup he offers you? Is it always necessary to say yes?・
展hy not? There痴 nothing to worry about for you致e known him for quite a long time.・/i> And so out of oblivion, you drank that sweet potion he痴 given you. And long before you knew it, you fell into a very deep sleep. A very deep sleep, that eventually leads to a nightmare・
What went wrong? Well there was too much trust葉rust that should致e not been there in the first place. Strange but true: Almost half of the population of rape victims know the person who sexually assaulted them. So debunk the myth that rapist are strangers who attack you from behind at a very dark horrid place. On the contrary, they can be among your circle of friends and acquaintances. In point of fact sexual harassment can happen even at the comfort of your home, on someone else痴 home, or on any cozy place over a supposedly-happy celebration. They can betray your trust and even take advantage of you when you are unconscious and unable to say no. Such incident is often referred to as date rape.
Date Rape Made Possible
Rapists don稚 rely on any special powers or charms in making their victims physically helpless; rather they make use of certain types of substances and drugs collectively known as date rape drugs. Alcoholic drinks are among the most useful for this purpose due to its availability. Too much of this substance can cause a victim to be unconscious even to the point of a total mental block-out so they barely remember anything after the event. Drugs are also utilized by the culprits for they have the same amnesiac effects as alcohol. In addition to that, they have sedative, dissociative and hypnotic effects that make it ultimately easy for any rapist to accomplish their goal. These drugs are usually dissolved in drinks and have negligible effects on the taste, odor, and color of most beverages so they are hard to detect by mere inspection. Among the most often mentioned types of date rape drugs are Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine (a dissociative anaesthetic), Ecstasy* and Benzodiazepines (sedatives and hypnotics).**
It never hurts to be cautious enough. Most accidents and unwanted things happen when people choose to be careless. So to avert any experience of sexual maltreatment, here are some guidelines that you might want to take note of:
In general, if it can be helped, avoid staying in secluded places and being left alone with someone of the opposite sex, most especially if you feel uncomfortable being with him. Even if it痴 your partner or someone you致e been dating for quite some time, avoid such practices until you have enough reasons to trust him.
Stay sober and as much as possible be calm and in control of the situations. Don稚 drink too much alcohol, and if you are to drink any beverage make sure by all possible reasons that it痴 risk-free. If a drink is prepared for you by someone else, then you have to be extra careful傭ut not overly paranoid熔n choosing to drink it.
Know what you really want to have and how far you池e willing to go in a relationship. Being attracted to someone doesn稚 necessarily mean he/she has the license to have sex with you whenever he/she feels like doing it. If it痴 against your principles or desire to engage in sex for the moment, then be vocal and assertive about it.
Have a group of close friends with you and watch out for each other in parties or in dates. This would be so helpful for they can assist you even if you are unconscious due to the date rape drugs.
Better Late than Never
If after a date you just woke from a sleep and have a nagging notion that something wrong has happened to you, investigate as early as possible. Write on the events that you can remember and never hesitate to talk to someone you trust, or seek professional help from doctors and psychologists. Most date rape drugs can be detected in the urine in less than five days so undergo the necessary tests to prove whether or not your partner has sexually abused you. Preserve physical details as much as possible幼ould be done by not washing your clothes at once, or any other material evidence that you can use to support your case. For further guidance and assistance, call a reputable rape crisis center. They do know how to reach out to you for they specialize in these instances.
It takes courage to do all those. Rest assured it could do you a lot better than being silent and complacent, and have the thought of your unsettled case haunt you.
*Ecstasy is the common term used to refer to the substance Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).
**For more information on the effects and descriptions of the date rape drugs, refer to www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_rape_drug
Source: Date Rape. (July 2007) in Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia. Retireved August 31, 2007 from www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_rape_drug