You probably already know a victim of sexual assault. The victim could be a neighbor, close friend, relative or, perhaps, even yourself. Sexual assault, which is commonly known as rape, is one of the fastest growing crimes in this country and the least reported. Fewer than 10 percent of these crimes are reported.
The FBI estimates that one out of four women and one in 12 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One of three women will face a threatened assault. Acquaintance rape constitutes 60 percent of sexual assault for the general population and 84 percent for college students. Surveys indicate that alcohol is a major factor in acquaintance rape.
Women are predominantly the victims of sexual assault; however, adults and children of both sexes can also be potential victims of sexual assault. A large number of rapes are planned in advance by the attacker.
Acquaintance/date rape involves someone the victim knows. Date rape is more likely to occur on the second or third date since defenses are higher on the first date.
Victims will usually feel more ashamed, more guilty, more depressed, and more angry with themselves than victims of an unknown assailant.
The victim may again have to meet the assailant in a class, a residence hall, elsewhere on campus, or even at work.
Women in acquaintance rapes are more often confused about what is happening and who is responsible. Their confusion is heightened by the fact that acquaintance rapists, unlike stranger rapists, often become conciliatory after the assault and almost always try to remain in contact with the victim. As a result, victims are less likely to call it rape or even understand that it is a crime.