Sexual harassment is unwanted and repeated sexual advances, usually by a person who has power or authority over another. The harassment can take many forms - from touching, fondling and lewd comments to coercive sexual intercourse. What is common in every case is a fear that confrontation or denial of the request can mean loss of employment, failing grades or poor medical care. Because victims of sexual harassment often feel that they precipitated the advances, confrontation is difficult.
Date rape is very common on today's campuses. Too often in cases of date rape, alcohol has played a major role. In men, alcohol releases their inhibitions and they tend to say and do things that they normally wouldn't say or do. They tend to be more open and forward with women which can lead to a serious situation. With women, when they are under the influence they may tend to make decisions that they wouldn't make if sober. If the two mingle throughout the night, a situation could evolve that they both will wish never happened.
Effects of Date Rape
Some of the major effects of date rape include the following:
- Loss of trust
- Sexual Problems
- Bruises, cuts or broken bones
- At risk for AIDS
What You Should Understand
- The absence of a clear "no" does not constitute consent
- Consent requires a clear affirmative action, such as a clear "yes", or active, enthusiastic particpation
- When you use force against your date to have sex, you are committing a crime
- Rape is a crime of violence
- Whenever your date says "No, stop", no matter when she says it, you'd better stop, otherwise you will be committing rape
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is no excuse
- Just because you've paid for dinner or even if you have had sex with your date before, this does not give you the right to force yourself on her
- Trying to talk someone into having sex or begging them is coercion, which means it is legally rape.
- West Virginia Law states that intoxication of the victim withdraws any consent they may give, which makes it rape.
- Clearly express what you want on a date before you get into a sexual situation
- Avoid secluded places
- Beware of alcohol and other drugs
- Have your own transportation or go out with a group or double-date
- Remember that your body is yours. No one has the right to touch you unless you want it
If You are Raped
- Get to a friend for emotional support or call a rape crisis line
- Go to a hospital for treatment of any injuries and for tests to provide medical evidence. Don't douche, shower, bathe or change clothes before you go.
- Reporting sexual assault is an important part of ending violence against women - but you should be comfortable with your decision
- Seek counseling