Aquaintance Rape

Date/Acquaintance Rape Defined

  • Rape by a date/aquaintance
  • Rape when a woman accompanies a man following a chance meeting

Most people think that rapes are committed by strangers.  The majority of rapes, however, are committed by persons known to the victims.  Studies on college campuses have found that:

  • 25% of college women have been victim of rape or attempted rape since the age of 14.
  • 84% were raped by someone they knew.
  • 57% were raped by dates.

It is wise to remember that most men do not rape.  Some do, but most do not.  Our goal is to make women knowledgeable and to be able to see warning signs.

Types of Date/ Acquaintance Rapists

Some are men who set up dates in order to have victims.

Most are males who have received incorrect inpressions about women and sexuality.  They believe in sex role stereotypes and adhere to the following sex role expectations:

  • women say “no but mean “yes”
  • only women are responsible for setting sexual limits
  • men are supposed to push for sex
  • women owe sex to dates who spend money on them
  • women owe sex to dates with whom they have had sex previously.


Recognizing Potential Date/Acquaintance Rapists

Some men are very charming and polite only to turn violent when women resist their sexual advances.  Other men may exhibit behaviors which could indicate tendencies to be date/ acquaintance rapists.  They may:

  • act bored
  • not listen to their dates
  • not stop touching or kissing when asked to stop
  • talk about dates’ bodies r look at dates in a way that makes the dates feel uncomfortable
  • give dates intimidating stares
  • act as though the relationships are more intimate than is true
  • call the dates by endearing names when the relationships are only casual
  • touch the dates “by accident” in intimate places
  • become hostile when dates do not agree with them or give them their “way”

Other Characteristics of Date/ Acquaintance Rapists

The following characteristics are also associated with date/acquaintance rapists who:

  • believe strongly in the sex role stereotypes that men are strong, aggressive, and dominant while women are weak, passive, and inferior
  • view females as sexual adversaries to be conquered
  • are not concerned with how their actions affect others
  • accept violence as a part of relationships
  • see their acts as seductions, not as rapes may have been abused as children
  • may have few friends.

Women Can

  • realize that date/acquaintance rape does exist and learn to recognize the signs
  • be assertive- feel free to stand up for your rights
  • trust your instincts which often indicate when something is wrong
  • decide sexual limits and communicate those limits.  Men cannot be expected to read minds.
  • refrain from assuming that men who were nonviolent in the past will always remain nonviolent.  Recognize signs if they appear
  • refrain from accompanying men who make them feel uncomfortable
  • avoid going alone to places with men who they do not know well
  • be aware of situations in which people are drinking or taking drugs.

Men Can

  • know their sexual desires and limits – Communicate them clearly
  • realize that women who say “NO” to sex are not rejecting them as people; they are expressing their desire not to participate in a single act.  Your desires may be beyond your control but your actions are within your control.
  • accept the woman’s decision.  “No” means “No”. Don’t continue after, “No!”
  • not assume that just because a woman dresses in a “sexy” manner and flirts that she wants to have sexual intercourse.
  • not assume that a previous permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
  • avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs.  Alcohol and drugs interfere with clear thinking and effective communication.

What to Do If Under Attack

Date/Acquaintance rape may occur no matter what precautions are taken.  If under attack:

  • Try not to panic
  • asses the situation and react accordingly
  • options may include fighting, screaming, passive resistance (vomiting, going along with the situation until you can get away), submission, if necessary, to avoid injury or death.

How Victims Often Feel After Date. Acquaintance Rape

Date/acquaintance rape can be a devastating experience for victims who may:

  • feel stupid for not recognizing that the dates had abusive tendencies (even though the signs may not have been present)
  • feel ashamed, guilty, and depressed
  • question whether their actions encouraged or gave incorrect sexual messages on a date or to an acquaintance.
  • question the trustworthiness of others
  • question their own ability to judge others
  • have to face their assailants in class or in social situations
  • fear entering into dating relationships in the future.


In the majority of sexual assault cases, the offender is someone that the victim knows and trusts.  It is important to understand this fact.  ICASA has created a great brochure of information about acquaintance rape.

Here is a brochure about acquaintance rape.

Here is a fact sheet about acquaintance rape.

Folleto Sobre Violacion Por Una Persona Conicda