Avoiding acquaintance rape means avoiding acquaintance rapists.  Identifying these men is no easy task, however, many of these men do give off clues about themselves, danger signals that women must learn to read.

Emotionally abuses you (through insults, belittling comments, ignoring your opinion, or by acting sulky or angry when you initiate an action or idea)

Tells you who you may be friends with, how you should dress, or tries to control other elements of your life or relationship (he insists on picking the movie you’ll see, the restaurant where you’ll eat, and so on)

Talks negatively about women in general

Gets jealous when there’s no reason

Drinks heavily or uses drugs or tries to get you intoxicated

Berates you for not wanting to get drunk, get high, have sex, or go with him to an isolated or personal place (his room, your apartment, or the like)

Refuses to let you share any of the expenses of a date and gets angry when you offer to pay

Is physically violent to you or others, even if it’s “just” grabbing and pushing to get his way

Acts in an intimidating way toward you (sits too close, uses his body to block your way, speaks as if he knows you better than he does, touches you when you tell him not to)

Is unable to handle sexual and emotional frustrations without becoming angry

Becomes hostile and/or increasingly more aggressive when you say “no”

Doesn’t view you as an equal, either because he’s older or because he sees himself as smarter or socially superior

Has a fascination with weapons

Enjoys being cruel to animals, children, or people he can bully

Adapted from I Never Called It Rape by Robin Warshaw