“I was sipping coffee, waiting for breakfast to be delivered to our table, when a friend of a friend of a friend-a complete stranger to me who had merely joined us-asked my girlfriend and me, with a smile on his face and an air of humor, if we had ever been roofied? (For those of you not familiar with the term, to be roofied is to have your drink spiked with the drug, Rohypnol often referred to as the date-rape drug.””
I was sipping coffee, waiting for breakfast to be delivered to our table, when a friend of a friend of a friend-a complete stranger to me who had merely joined us-asked my girlfriend and me, with a smile on his face and an air of humor, if we had ever been roofied? (For those of you not familiar with the term, to be roofied is to have your drink spiked with the drug, Rohypnol often referred to as the date-rape drug.)
I could deduce only one thing other than his social incompetence and that was that he really didn’t understand the reality of rape and sexual assault. If he did, he would not have made such an ignorant comment. Or at least I hoped.
So I asked, Did you know around 1 in 4 college-aged women is raped?
Well, that’s not funny, he replied.
He took a sip of his coffee. Then he said, But seriously have you? He then laughed again and continued to sip his coffee, which in that moment I seriously considered pouring onto his lap.
I have absolutely no tolerance for people who think that rape, or anything that may lead to or cause rape, is funny. Roofies slipped into women’s drinks to render them unconscious and incapable of fending off perpetrators is far from amusing. It is disconcerting and repulsive.
Likewise, people who use rape loosely, spouting off things like, Wow, they just got raped in place of other phrases.
I have absolutely no tolerance for people who blame the victim. At all. What she was wearing, where she was, and/or how much she has had to drink are never indicators that a woman asked for it.
Comments like these minimize the trauma of these crimes against women (and men, too, though not nearly as often; merely 1 in 33 men reports being raped compared to 1 in 6 women). And women vastly underreport rape.
Comments and ideas like these keep victims invalidated, silent, ashamed and the issue of rape seems common-place and acceptable.
Too many people think rape doesn’t happen as often as it does. Even worse, they think that those who do report it are lying because of a consensual sexual experience they regret. I don’t dismiss the possibility of false accusations, but these are approximately only 2 percent of all reported rapes. Will we seriously overlook the other 98 percent of actual rapes?
Denying the reality of rape in our culture and/or blaming the victim out of ignorance only feeds into and perpetuates this crime, a crime that is committed, or attempted, against a huge percentage of the women in this country.
Because awareness is the first step toward prevention, I will spend the remainder of this series making you aware of various facts regarding sexual assault and rape. Starting now.
Here are a few statistics provided by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN.org):
?1 in 6 women will experience an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
?Approximately 17 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.
?In 2003, 9 out of 10 rape victims were female.
? Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
?It is estimated that around 75 percent of rape victims know their rapists in some capacity.
?Nearly 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported.