You are a victim of a crime
if you have had unwanted sexual contact. Sexual battery is no less serious if you know your attacker. Previous sexual contact with your attacker does not justify or excuse the crime. If you think sexual battery is motivated by passion or happens because the victim asked for or wanted it, look at the facts. Sexual battery can happen to anyone - you, your children, co-workers, or friends, or other members of your family. The victim can be any age, race, have any income level and live in the city or in the country. It can happen to anyone.
Sexual assault awareness is based on environmental alertness. Remember alcohol and drugs dull your senses and judgment. When uncomfortable, trust your instincts! Perhaps you think sexual assault happens only in certain high-risk situations such as hitchhiking, walking alone at night, or going out socially alone. It's true that sexual assault can occur in such situations, but it also takes place in ordinary, seemingly safe places. In fact, about one-third of all rapes occur in or near the victim's residence. About one-half of the rapes are by first or casual dates or romantic acquaintances.
It is important to be aware that most sexual offenders don't look abnormal or act strangely. In fact, perpetrators of rape and assault are not always strangers to their victims. In many cases, the assailant is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend, or relative.
Date rape prevention involves educating both young men and young women. Men need to understand that NO means NO. The only thing they are owed
for a date is thank you
. Women need to understand that they have the right and responsibility to communicate clearly--to say what they mean and want. They need to trust their instincts and, sadly, learn to stay out of risky situations.Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2nd ed. Gale Group, 2001.