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You are here: Home >> Articles >> For Girls

September, 2004

One out of four girls are raped by the age of 18.  Nearly all female teenage rape victims know their attacker:

56%  raped by a date
30%  raped by a friend
11%  raped by a "boyfriend"

"Date/Acquaintance rape most commonly occurs when a male insists on sexual activity, won't take no for an answer, and finally forces sex by threats or physical strength.  Acquaintance rape is as traumatic, perhaps more so, because a betrayal of trust is involved."

Rape is never your fault.  70% of sexual assaults are planned.  So, here's some planning you can do to become more informed and help prevent rape:

Know the statistics.  Understand how widespread the problem is.  Next read up on the myths about rape.

Many boys make assumptions about sex and what you want.  Decide what your limits are beforehand and be clear about them.  It is absolutely fine not to want any sexual contact.  Make sure that he accepts the responsibility not to harm you.

Know yourself and your sexuality.  Sexual desires are a normal, natural part of who you are.  

Watch out for your friends, and ask them to watch out for you.

Know what to do,  to keep yourself safe.  Avoid being isolated.  Stay sober -- there is a higher incidence of rape with the use of drugs or alcohol, as well as the danger of date rape drugs being put in your beverage.

Know what to do in a rape crisis situation:

"... get angry.  Don't worry about being polite.  If you need to yell or hurt him to attract help or get away, do it.  ...  Don't worry about his feelings.  Make a scene."

Trust your instincts and feelings.

You have a right to feel safe.  Consider a relationship contract.  If your boyfriend isn't open to making agreements for a safe, happy relationship, that should be a warning sign.

Physical and emotional abuse are also dangers in relationships today. 

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See also:
Are you a victim of dating violence?
Are you an abuser?
Some of the ways teens have been abused
Four Building Blocks In Understanding Teen Dating Violence
The Mathematics of Battering
Qualities of a healthy relationship
Myths about women and dating
Dating Someone Considerably Older
Love Is... Love Isn't

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