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Answers to Christian Teens' Questions About Date Rape

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In America a woman is raped every two minutes. This startling statistic brings to light an important issue for Christian teen girls - rape. Since many Christian teen girls are dedicated to waiting until they are married to have sex, a rape can be devastating. While many Christian teens believe that most rapes are committed by a stranger, the facts show that most rapes are committed by someone close to the girl, like a friend, boyfriend, or date. Here are some answers to the common questions regarding date rape:

Why is date rape such an issue for Christian teen girls?

According to the 2003 Department of Justice Report, Acquaintance Rape of College Students, women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience rape at a rate that is 4 times greater than women of other ages. For those women in college, they are at an even greater risk than women the same age that are not in college. Also, it is estimated that 1 out of 4 college women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since the age of 14. Christian teen girls in college are most susceptible to rape during the first few weeks of their freshman and sophomore year. Also, teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were 3.5 times more likely to be victims of rape or attempted rape, and 50 percent of rape victims were under 18.

How many teenage and college-age women are victims of date rape each year?

The actual numbers A recent study showed that there were 35 rapes per 1,000 female students over the study period of 7 months. In 1999 there were a total of 2,469 reported incidents of rape on all U.S. college campuses. Yet even that number could be wrong. Less than 5 percent of victims report the rape to the police. About 2 out of 3 victims will tell a friend.

Why don't rape victims report the crime to the police?

In one survey 40 percent of victims stated that they did not report the rape due to fear of retaliation. However, there are other factors like fear that the legal process will be emotionally traumatic. Other women are embarrassed, fear the publicity or not being believed, have a mistrust of the legal system, or some women even blame themselves.

But shouldn't I be more worried about strangers?

Yes, most of us were taught from childhood about "stranger danger," however stranger rape only makes up 10 percent of all rapes. We hear more about stranger rape through the media, because it makes a more shocking story. However, true date rape (where the woman is actually on a date or with a boyfriend) accounts for 13 percent of college campus rapes and 35 percent of attempted rapes. The remaining 77 percent of all rapes are committed by acquaintances.

What kinds of acquaintance rape exist?

Most studies divide acquaintance rapes into types. There is party rape, where the rape occurs at a party. There is also date rape, where the rape occurs on a date. Then there is rape by a former intimate, where the woman is raped by a person she used to date or know. Finally, there is rape by a current intimate.

Where and when am I most vulnerable?

According to the Department of Justice 70 percent of sexual assaults reported to law enforcement happened in the victim's home, the offender's home, or another residence. For a woman of college age, 34 percent of rapes and 45 percent of attempted rapes take place on campus. 60 percent of those rapes occur in the victim's residence, 31 percent in another residence, and 10 percent in a fraternity house. Also, 68 percent of rapes occur between 6pm and 6am.

Are athletics and fraternities breeding grounds for rapists?

No one can explain why there are more athletes and fraternities involved. Some say that these rapes are reported more due to the view that these men are more "privileged," so the rape is resented. Also, athletes may have an attitude that they are "above" the campus rules. They may be more prone to take advantage of their "groupies." Fraternities have the dubious reputation for gang rape, binge drinking, and secrecy. Their parties take place in private houses with private rooms. They often involve copious amounts of alcohol, and some fraternities are notorious for their misogynistic attitudes. However, it is noted that some fraternities are more rape-prone than others. Many national Greek organizations are working hard to educate members regarding sexual assault and have strict rules about alcohol consumption. Some have even instituted mandates for "dry" chapter houses.

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