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Date Rape Culture: The Need to End Victim Mutedness - Essay Example

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Date Rape Culture: The Need to End Victim Mutedness

It is in fact a bothering estimate of “14-30% of all adult women have been raped or experienced attempted rape” (Burgess & Burpo, 2012, p.749). It is even more bothering that college-aged women make up the largest share of this percentage. Furthermore, it is not comfortable to know that “84% of rape survivors knew their assailants” (Burgess & Burpo, 2012, p.749). Lack of detailed awareness on the issue causes several factors surrounding the underreporting of date rape such as ambiguity in definition, gendered misconceptions, and social stigma. These factors influence the mutedness of the victims on the individual, cultural, situational, and immediate contexts before, during, and after the rape and foster the date rape culture.
Misconceptions and Social Stigma
71% percent of rapes are planned or premeditated. Women are the ones most likely to be vulnerable when spending time along with a man. One of the major problems of date rape is that majority of the effects are unseen or even unheard. This means that there are many unreported incidents. Studies show that less than 5% of college women who are victims of date rape report the incident to the authorities. However, around two-thirds of these victims confide into someone about their ordeal. In another study, 40% of these college-aged victims do not report the date rape because of fear for reprisal or social stigma (Sampson, 2002, p.4). One report states, “30% of respondents said a woman is partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk” (Grubb & Harrower, 2009, p.63). Furthermore, one study reports that 22.8% of college rape victims already experienced some form of sexual assault before. There is also a possibility of that serial rapists are common among date rapists, for there is a report saying that 96 males were responsible for 187 incidences of rapes (Sampson, 2012, p.10). The numbers continue to shock when a National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 75% of male students and 55% of female students had been drinking alcohol or taking drugs before the date rape. Considering the fact that most date rapes are unreported, there is still an average of 25% female rape victims reported. A graph showing a compilation of reports from the Justice Department and the NBI shows that only 10% of rape cases are reported and only 30% of these reported cases ever face trial (The Enliven Project, 2013). Pre-Date Rape Causes Cultural Context Campuses do not have a clear definition of date rape. A major study reports that students presents several confusing answers when asked about the definition of date rape. The answers range from how or when a person gives consent to sexual advances to consent need not be verbalized (Burnett et al., 2009, p.474). Bottom-line, the definition depends on personal views and not on universal descriptions of date rape. Such ambiguity can affect a victim’s ability to ward off unwanted advances before a rape occurs. There will be questions such as “Should I say no now?,” or even “Is he (she) making passes at me?” Even the perpetrator would have an easier time in getting away with unwanted advances because the ambiguity in the definition of date rape itself causes vagueness in situations that might lead to it. Individual Context ...Show more
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Summary

Date rape can occur to any two individuals who know each other or who have consented to a social engagement. While majority of date rape victims are women, men can still fall victims to such violation. The rape need not occur during a date, and such things happen even among married couples…
Date Rape Culture: The Need to End Victim Mutedness
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