At least 1 in 4 women will be the victim of sexual assault during her academic career. Source: Hirsch, Kathleen (1990) Fraternities of Fear: Gang Rape, Male Bonding, and the Silencing of Women Ms., 1(2) 52-56.
SACIS is an excellent, local agency based in Charleston, IL that works exclusively with people who are survivors of sexual assault. Male survivors are welcome at SACIS as well. 24 hour hotline: 1-888-345-2846. Reach out and start healing today. For more information, visit their website:
Date rape is the most common form of rape. More than 70% of rape victims know their attackers, compared to about half of all violent crime victims. Source: Dennison, Callie. Criminal Victimization 1998. Bureau of Justice Stats, DOJ.
Follow these tips for smart and safe dating.
Before you go out
- Know who your date is.
- Tell someone WHERE you are going, WHO you are going with and WHEN to expect you home.
- Take a cell phone with you.
During the date
- Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they will make you less cautious. About 50% of women who were victims of rape attempts and 75% of their attackers had been drinking.
- Avoid "lovers' lane" and other private locations. Meet in public and stay in public.
- If you start mistrusting your date, TRUST YOUR GUT feeling and find a way out of the situation.
- Don't do anything you don't want to do because your date picked up the tab or thinks it is expected. If it helps you be more assertive, pick up your part of the check.
- Be clear about your sexual boundaries. If you have to say no, be forcefull. "NO!"
- Be aware of "date rape drugs", as they cause disorientation and memory loss for up to 12 hours. If you are at a party, don't take an open beverage from someone you don't trust. Never drink out of a punch bowl.
Sexually Transmitted Disease
A survey released in February by the University of North Carolina states that one of two sexually active college-age students will contract a sexually transmitted disease by age 25. Educate yourself. It could happen to you!
The most common STDs found on college campuses in general are chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and genital warts. STDs are infections and can be contracted through any sexual contact, ranging from vaginal, anal or oral sex. Most STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be treated and cured, while others are untreatable and even life threatening.
Although the only way to completely eliminate the risk of getting an STD is to stay abstinent, there are some ways to prevent them while being sexually active. Condoms are not 100 percent effective, but they are the best available source, not only for protection from STDs but also protection against pregnancy. Remember, birth control does not protect against STDs, it only prevents pregnancy.
Before you become sexually active, you and your partner should be tested. It is a short and painless procedure that involves a simple blood draw. If you are not ready to talk about STDs with your partner, you are not ready to have sex with them.