Protecting Against Acquaintance Rape
Barrington H. Brennen, May 2, 2017
Rape is one of the least reported crimes in our
country. It is believed that less than five percent of
rape cases are unreported. For those cases that are
reported, a small percentage of the rapists are
convicted. My research reveals that in the United
States only six out of 1000 reported rape cases are the
rapists incarcerated. I am not sure what are the
statistics in The Bahamas, however this trend is
On my website where there are about 850 articles I’ve
written on social relationships (www.soencouragement.org),
Google Analytics reveals that the most read article
every day is the one on rape entitled: “My husband Raped
Me.” Digging deeper into where the readers of this
article are coming from, I noticed that they are mostly
from a state in India that has the highest incidence of
rape in that country and one of the highest in the
world—Maharashtra. Around the world, rape victims, in
the privacy of their homes, are seeking help for their
pain and confusion due to rape.
KINDS OF RAPE
Broadly, there are three kinds of rape. They are
acquaintance, date, and stranger rape. Unfortunately,
acquaintance and date rape are the least reported.
Acquaintance rape is committed by someone you know, or
associate with, or related to. Equally as painful is
date rape. Date rape occurs when a person is raped by
someone he or she is romantically involved with and/or
when out on a date.
My further study reveals four more descriptions of
rape. I will present them with direct quotes from an
article on rape by Cameron Ketcher and Jessica Fleming
from the University of Arkansas:
type of rape expresses hatred towards the victim and
rage. This type of rapist wants the person to feel and
understand his anger towards them, even though they may
have not been the one to provoke the rage they need to
take it out on someone and make them suffer as he has
for past wrongs and rejections.”
“Power rape--This type of rape wants to express power and
domination over the victim. These rapists have a common
fantasy of women who want them and resist their come-ons
and then consent to sex. When the fantasy is acted out
and the victim doesn’t cooperate the fantasy becomes
more about the domination or taking control over that
person. In this way, he is showing how very powerful,
masculine, and sexually adequate he really is.”
“Sadistic rape--This rapist is obsessed with the ritual that goes along with the
sex. This could be making the victim act out a part in
some sort of role-play, it could involve mutilation, or
torture as a means of getting the rapist excited. These
rapists are the ones that wake women out of a dead
sleep, scared to death for their lives.”
is committed by your spouse. It was once thought that once you
consented to a marriage that you were obligated to serve
your husband in any way he saw fit and this meant
sexually.” This is an erroneous belief that engenders
abuse of all kinds, including sexual violence.
What can one do to protect against acquaintance rape?
Here are seven tips to protect against acquaintance rape
taken from Rape Treatment Center,
Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center, California, that I
have found to be helpful. I’ve added an additional one
of my own at the end.
Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have
the right to say "No” to any unwanted sexual
contact. If you are uncertain about what you
want, ask the man to respect your feelings.
Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If
you say "No," make sure you say it like you mean
it. Don’t give mixed messages. Back up your
words with a firm tone of voice and clear body
Don’t rely on ESP to get your message across.
Don’t assume that your date will automatically
know how you feel, or will eventually "get the
message" without you having to tell him
Remember that some guys think that drinking,
dressing attractively, or agreeing to go out on
a date are signs that you are willing to have
sex. Be especially careful to clearly
communicate your limits and intentions in such
Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel
uncomfortable, or think you may be at risk,
leave the situation immediately and go to a safe
Don’t be afraid to "make waves" if you feel
threatened. If you are being pressured into
sexual activity, don’t hesitate to state your
feelings and get out of the situation. Better to
live through a few minutes of social awkwardness
or embarrassment than to face the trauma of a
Attend large parties with friends you can trust.
Agree that you’ll "look out" for one another.
Try to leave the party with a group, instead of
leaving alone or with someone you don’t know
Here’s my addition: Avoid being in secret or
secluded places alone with your acquaintance.
This may include and not limited to a hotel
room, alone at home, a long drive to nowhere, a
late-night walk on a lonely beach.
If this article has been helpful to you, would you
kindly let me know by using one of my contacts below.
I am Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, a marriage
and family therapist and board certified clinical
psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments
firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O.
Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit
www.soencouragement.org or call 242-327-1980