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DATE RAPE- THE CHIEF MANIFESTATION OF MANIPULATION

DATE RAPE- THE CHIEF MANIFESTATION OF MANIPULATION

Written By – Sruthi Sadhasivam

WHAT IS DATE RAPE?

Date rape also known as acquaintance rape is rape committed by a person who is involved in a romantic relationship with the other person.  About 70% of rape cases in India is reported to have the involvement of abusers and victims who are intoxicated.  Indian law criminalises sexual intercourse performed when members involved are intoxicated. This deadly crime has close linkages with other heinous crimes such as illegal drug trade, robbery, and exploitation.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO RAPE AN AMOROUS CONFIDANT?

The assailant who’s a romantic, trusted partner to the victim will administer drugs to sexually exploit the victim. For this purpose, the perpetrator might administer major date rape drugs such as Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), ketamine, Roofies and Rohypnol on the victim to make her/him/them to oblige to the sexual misconduct. These drugs have their own repercussions on an individual’s body and mostly alcohol, marijuana, roofies, sleeping pills etc is used to seduce the victim. These drugs that can be given by mixing them in some drink or other means act as sedatives to lure the target. In addition, these drugs are tasteless, colorless and have no smell as well making it easy to make the victims consume it unknowingly. This makes the victims helpless and vulnerable, they won’t be in a situation to protect themselves from unwanted sexual advances. After being exposed to sexual exploitation, most of these victims might also suffer from amnesia due to the forced consumption of drugs and might not be able to recall what happened to them causing them difficulty in reporting and lodging a case of sexual harassment.

What makes these drugs a viable option for sexual predators is that after 72 hours of consumption of these drugs, the person’s body will be back to normal and traces of these drugs in a body is tricky to notice even in blood tests. The ingestion of these drugs makes the victim automatically act in a physically obliging manner and are in a situation where they have no control over their own mind or body. They might not even be aware that they were exposed to sexual exploitation or assault. Further, due to lapses in memory, the victim finds it difficult to testify before the respected officials. Moreover, the same person might get raped twice, thrice, or even more by the assailant due to their inability to recall their time with their partner. Repeated usage of these drugs can make the victim addicted to them, they might also face various health issues such as respiratory problems, depression, aspiration, coma or even death.

The whole experience is all the more devastating because this kind of rape is done by a well-known person and not a stranger.

WHAT MAKES DATE RAPE PROBLEMATIC?

The main issue in this case is that it becomes very difficult for the victims to prove that they got raped as society believes that a known person engaging in a sexual act cannot be considered as rape. It is taken for granted that consent is presumed in a romantic relationship. Even if a duo is in romantic relationship, there are certain boundaries that should not be transgressed, and consent is a prerequisite at every level of their relationship. Just because the victim is an individual’s girl friend or boyfriend does not give them the right to control them or violate their body autonomy. The victim might have given his/her/their consent to engage in a romantic relationship but that cannot be used as a leeway to sexually exploit them. A partner cannot have the same mindset or physical health or mental preparation to go physical according to the whims and fancies of the other partner. Therefore, consent needs to be taken every time one wants to engage in sexual acts, obtaining consent once and using that as the basis to engage in carnal relationships in future rendezvous is certainly unacceptable.

Its high time that society acknowledges the fact that rape can happen pre marriage, post marriage or in casual romantic relationship or even in live in relationships. 

The date rape victims find it traumatic to even report their sexual assault because it is difficult to prove their endeavor as there is little to no clarity on when consent was obtained, for what it was obtained, how the objection to a sexual advance was communicated and when the boundaries get trespassed. These aspects can devalue the credibility of consent as in a date rape, the assailant is a known intimate person.

In addition to administration of drugs and sexually violating the individual, the perpetrator might use the unstable physical and mental condition of the victim to undress and take nude photos of the victim to blackmail him/her/they in future using those inappropriate photos. These photos are used as bait to extract money from the victims. Many woman victims have committed suicide, unable to bear the torture and due to fear that their photos will be uploaded online.

In conclusion, all youngsters need to be vigilant and aware of everything around them. They should be able to identify toxic relationship and must be strong enough to come out of it or if not speak about it to someone who is in a position to help them. Victims must report their bitter experiences without fear of shame as what happened to them is not their fault. Further, sex education, defense and related laws need to be imparted to young adults and kids. Hopefully, these measures will help people handle sexual assaults and cope up with it in a mature and audacious way.

REFERENCES

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/date-rape.htm
https://www.legallyindia.com/views/entry/im-dating-you-doesnt-mean-you-can-date-rape-me-html
https://ejmcm.com/article_5486.html
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/filmed-after-being-given-date-rape-drug-class-xii-girl-blackmailed-for-months/articleshow/80713535.cms
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/beware-of-date-rape-drugs/story-aGuU4TBQQKnJNJDBmZmmSP.html
https://www.flipkart.com/date-rape-drugs/p/itmdykncre7swg25

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