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Self Help

 

female student

Date Rape: What are the effects of date rape?


It is quite common for victims of an assault to keep it a secret. They may not tell their friends or their families. Most date rapes are not reported to the police. Many victims stay quiet because they fear that others will blame them for the attack or that no one will believe them. They have trouble themselves believing it really happened. Not only are victims of date rape physically hurt, they are emotionally violated as well. They have been deceived by someone known, trusted, and/or loved. This may cause confusion, fear, and a feeling of loss of control in their own lives.

Victims of date rape often experience feelings of guilt and responsibility. They may have difficulty trusting themselves and others after the incident and have serious concerns about their ability to make good judgments about people.

Many victims have great difficulty accepting what happened as rape and may go through a period in which they deny that the event had any affect on them. All these feelings and reactions are normal.

Males can also be raped and assaulted sexually. After an assault, males will experience many of the same feelings as women (e.g., shame, confusion , guilt, fear, helplessness and anger). Some young men may respond by fighting, lying, stealing, running away, or alcohol and drug abuse. Males may also begin questioning their own sexual identity if they were assaulted by another male. It is important to note that males' (as well as females ') bodies will respond to sexual stimuli, and that ejaculation may occur during an assault. This does not mean that the experience was desired, but only that the body responds to physical contact. This often leaves the male thinking he must have wanted the assault.

It is important to remember that rape and sexual assault are not your fault. Even if you knew the attacker, didn't yell out, didn't physically fight back, or even if you had been intimate with the person before, any sexual activity against your will is assault.

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