Date rape
Date rape is one of the most common, and under reported forms of rape that happens. Yet, because the attacker is not only someone that is known to the victim, but also trusted by them, date rape can be extremely damaging in its effects. Until recent years, date rape was not even taken seriously by the police, but fortunately things are changing in this regard.

Also in recent years, there has been an increase in the use of the so called date rape drug Flunitrazepam (which goes under the brand name of Rohypnol). This is part of a group of drugs known as Benzodiazepines, the best known of which is probably Valium, although Flunitrazepam is some 8 to 12 times more potent (2 to 3 times more again when mixed with alcohol). When mixed with alcohol, this can cause almost complete sedation and amnesia within 20 minutes, that can last from 6 to 8 hours. Obviously, one should be extremely careful when drinking at parties etc. Flunitrazepam can be detected in blood tests, but only when done soon after the person comes around.

Date rape is also common in newish relationships, when the partner will go out of their way to offer enough drink such as the victim has little control, or care, as to what is happening. This is not just a female related thing, as male/male rape also often happens this way, even when the victim is not gay, and the assailant may be married but bisexual without the victim knowing. (Only about 4% of people are gay, yet some 20% to 30% are bisexual to some extent). Of course this does not mean that all bisexual people are rapists, no more than all males are either. Also, of course, there are bisexual females, whom can still rape a female with objects etc and have other forms of sex.

Unlike rape by an unknown person, date rape is seen by many as far less often an act of power and control, and more as out of control lust by many people. However, in recent years, the legal system has started to treat it in a far more serious way. It is still a violation of the victims rights, trust and control over their own body, and their right to decide whom they have sex with. At AEST, we believe that been unable to say NO to sex due to drugs is the same as been unable to say NO due to a fear. In our eyes, abuse is abuse.

Fortunately, many police stations now have Victim Liaison Officers (VLO's) who are trained to be sensitive to the needs of those who have been abused or raped be them female, or male. Also, there are rape crisis centre's (though most ONLY deal with females) in all major towns. Both can be a source of help and support, and are familiar with date rape.

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* Available at: http://www.aest.org.uk/survivors/female/date%20rape.html (Abused Empowered Survive Thrive) 17.07.06
Date rape*
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