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From Rave to grave, club drugs render date rape victims helpless
VICKI EVERETT 08-31-2005
It?s one of the first words we learn to say as a child and the same word some choose to ignore, ?No!? To ignore this simple command not to violate someone?s space is unimaginable to most. Yet, it happens all the time. It?s been said time and time again, ?Rape is about control, not sex.? It?s disheartening to know that one in every four girls will fall victim to rape before they reach the age of 25 and three out of five before they turn 18. One popular myth is that rape happens with strangers. The fact is that date and acquaintance rapes are the most common types of rape.
When selfish desire overrides compassion, reason, and respect for another human being, people get hurt. Rape is not just physically forced, it can be coerced emotionally by threatening to lie to hurt the person?s reputation, making it seem like the victim will not be popular or well liked if the sex does not take place, or making it appear as if the victim really wants this to occur despite the verbal ?no? response. This brainwashing can also happen after the rape occurs.
Judgment gets clouded when persons find themselves in new situations and surroundings, usually unaware of the intentions of new acquaintances. Eager to make friends quickly, it can be tempting to be all too trusting of others.
It?s also about giving in to temptation to try new things. Stories are similar on college campuses nationwide making it easy for sexual predators to easily manipulate a situation to one?s advantage.
Sexual harassment is often a precursor to date rape. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to leering, pressure for dates, pressing or rubbing against a person, obscene phone calls, bra snapping, wedgies, lip-smacking, wolf whistles, indecent exposure, name-calling, displaying sexual material, animal noises, sexist jokes, grabbing genitals, flipping skirts or ?pantsing? another person, and soliciting sexual services.
Statistics acquired at Daybreak Crisis Center off Leighton Avenue in Anniston reveal that date rape is on the rise. In 2004, 1,665 rapes, of which the majority happened in March, were reported in Alabama. This is a 7 percent increase from 2003. The average age of the rape victim is 21 while the average age of the rapist is 29. Of these rapes, 79 percent involved verbal threats, hands, fists, and exerted force. Only 5 percent of rapes occurred at gunpoint while 3 percent were raped at knifepoint. The most number of rapes reported in 2004 were in Etowah County with the next highest Calhoun County.
Date rape drugs include but are not limited to ActiveSeX, Hydroxy Butyrate (often called GHB, Liquid X, Easy Lay, EZ Lay, Clear X, Liquid Dream, Scoop, Scoop Her) and Rohypnol (often called the Forget-pill, R-2, ,Rib, Roche, Roofies, Rope, Ruffies,) and Scoop, These liquid depressants are usually colorless, odorless, and tasteless and easily slipped into an unattended drink. Typically, the drug takes affect within 10 to 20 minutes causing the unsuspecting victim side effects such as the sensation a sedative might leave behind, amnesia, and muscle relaxation. After it takes effect, most drugs listed can last up to 24 hours, if mixed with alcohol, and stays in the system for up to 48 hours.
The most popular of club drugs are the GHB (Grevious Bodily Harm, G, Liquid Ecstasy, Georgia Home Boy), Methamphetamine (Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Fire, Glass), Ketamine (K, Special K, Vitamin K, Cat Valium), Rohypnol (Roofies, Rophies, Roche, Forget-Me Pill), Lyseric Acid Diethylamide (LSD) (Acid, Boomer, Yellow Sunshines), and Methlenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (Ecstasy, XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover?s Speed).
Taking these drugs can cause long-term physical and psychological effects to include shutting down the central nervous system, stroke, heart attack, irreparable liver and brain damage, psychosis, schizophrenia, delirium, amnesia, kidney and lung disorders, and death.
Young adults can help prevent date rape in the following ways:
Don?t allow yourself to be alone with a member of the opposite sex with whom you are not well acquainted.
If you must go on a blind date, insist on going to well-populated places and meet them there instead of riding with them, or, insist on double dating.
Never leave your drink unattended, not even for a second.
Trust your gut feeling; if you feel uncomfortable make a valid excuse for the encounter to end.
Limit your alcohol intake and make sure you have a reliable buddy to accompany you during your outings.
Don?t drink out of a punch bowl at a party.
Watch out for friends who may have had too much alcohol.
Recognizing a victim of rape is not always easy but some clear signs include crying or sobbing, depression, excluding themselves from normal activities, dressing differently than normal, out of the ordinary laughter due to shock, fears of being alone or in the dark, sleeplessness, anxiety, and drug or alcohol abuse.