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The Date Rape Awareness Campaign

Created to increase awareness in society regarding Date Rape, a major issue of today.
by Karan Chandiok on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of The Date Rape Awareness Campaign

by Karan Chandiok The Date Rape Awareness Campaign The main focus of this campaign, executed by the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, is to increase the overall awareness of the issues associated with date rape. Achievement of this will also help prevent the grueling ramifications of date rape, both physically and psychologically. Focus The main messages that this campaign works to convey are:
What is Date Rape?
Consequences Associated with Date Rape
Prevention Strategies
Victim's Options Main Messages The campaign aspires to achieve greater awareness of the issues concerning date rape, through the medium of travelling around NSW holding seminars and presenting knowledge and information to anyone and everyone. Presentations (similar to this current presentation) will be hosted at these seminars by experienced, qualified professionals in their areas of expertise regarding the issue of date rape, and will guide the audience through these seminars. At these seminars, people will have the opportunity to not only convey their views and experiences, but also gain a substantial level of knowledge on the issue.
Campaign Mode The target audience for this campaign is, well, really anyone, as the main focus of it is to increase awareness universally. Date rape is an issue that can affect all ages, and both genders too. However, the most suitable audience group for this campaign would be young females, anywhere from adolescence to thirty years of age, as this is the stage of life when date rape is most likely to occur. This campaign will hopefully assist this group in the prevention of date rape, or even help on the road to recovery. Target Audience Defining Date Rape The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines rape as: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim”. Date rape, often referred to as acquaintance rape, is when someone the victim knows socially commits the act of rape upon them.

Date rape is different from other instances of rape, as date rape is a term that can only be applied to sexual assault from someone who the victim knows, such as someone they meet at a party, or someone they know and trust, like a boyfriend. Other instances of rape, such as gang rape and statutory rape, do not have to be performed by someone the victim knows socially, they may be complete strangers. Date Rape - Physical Consequences Physical consequences or effects of date rape can include gynaecological effects such as vaginal/anal bleeding or infection, Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, Vaginitis, Dyspareunia, Vaginismuses, chronic pelvic pain or urinary infections. Pregnancy may also result from rape. The rate varies between settings and depends particularly on the extent to which non-barrier contraceptives are being used. STIs are always an issue and a possible effect of rape; violent or forced sex can increase the risk of transmitting HIV. In forced vaginal penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly occur, thus facilitating the entry of the virus through the vaginal mucosa. Adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through unforced sex, because their vaginal mucous membranes have not yet acquired cellular density sufficient to provide an effective barrier that develops in the later teenage years. Date Rape - Psychological/Emotional Consequences The most common form of psychological/emotional trauma experienced as a result of rape is the Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS), which consists of disruptions to normal physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and interpersonal characteristics. Victims of manipulation and abuse frequently feel responsible for causing negative feelings in the abuser towards them which results in anxiety for the victim. This self-blame often becomes a major feature of victim status. There are two main types of self-blame: behavioural self-blame (undeserved blame based on actions) and characterological self-blame (undeserved blame based on character). Victims who experience behavioural self-blame feel that they should have done something differently and therefore feel at fault. Victims who experience characterological self-blame feel there is something inherently wrong with them which caused them to deserve to be assaulted. Date Rape - Legal/Social Consequences Legally, rape is a very serious matter, and as such are the consequences and punishments of committing it. Being convicted of sexual assault offences can bring serious consequences, almost always imprisonment, with the time period varying based on the situation, usually a matter of years of imprisonment, rather than months.

There are also various social ramifications associated with victims of date rape. These contain a loss of trust in oneself and others, fear of many situations, avoidance of interactions with men, and hardships in daily routines and responsibilities, such as going to work, school and interacting with acquaintances and friends. Date Rape Prevention Strategies There are many ways in which potential victims could prevent the occurrence of date rape, or even reduce the likelihood of it happening. Strategy 1 – ABSTAIN FROM ALCOHOL/DRUGS
Staying away from alcohol/drugs can be very useful as you can remain aware of your actions, other people’s actions, and your surroundings. Alcohol is a depressant, and therefore greatly affects your senses and reflexes. This allows you to stay in control and easily focus on everything around you. Strategy 2 – STAY AWAY FROM SECLUDED AREAS
One of the most effective was to stop the possibility of date rape is the simple notion of staying away from secluded areas where many people are not present with those of whom that are trusted. Such areas could include alleyways, one’s own home, and a bedroom at a party, or even a car where a potential rapist could drive someone away. This is effective in that an attacker will never attempt anything if in the presence of others as witnesses will either stop it from occurring, testify against the person in court, or both where the attackers attempts have ultimately failed.
Strategy 3 – PLAN
Making a plan can be one of the most useful things you can do in terms of date rape prevention. A plan can be formulated by understanding where you’re going and with who, and informing someone, a trusted friend or family member, this information. If people know where you are and what you’re doing at certain times, you’re safer in the long run.
Victim's Options If ever, unfortunately, one finds themselves in the situation of being a victim of date rape, there are a number of things one must do to begin the recovery process, and prevent any other concerns. The first thing one should do to the next morning, would be to immediately arrange to go a hospital where doctors will aid one in preventing any medical concerns such as STI’s, and most importantly provide one, if female, with the “morning after” pills in which are a last resort in preventing unwanted pregnancy. After the initial period of shock, and emotional impact, a good plan of action would be to contact and utilise a support service relevant to the issue. The support service will guide the victim through emotional and mental recovery, and help make the victim’s life much better. Support services won’t ever judge, and simply do nothing but support; it is important to remember that one is never alone. One such excellent support service in which provides a great deal of professional support is the NSW Rape Crisis Centre who offer:

•24 hour crisis counselling, medical care and forensic tests.
•Checks for infections, and pregnancy testing.
•Counselling in the months after the assault.
•Information about your options in relation to legal action.
•Information about reporting the assault to the police.
•Help with court preparation and support.
•Information about other services.
•Support for family members, partners and friends.
•Support groups.
Thank You! Hopefully, this presentation has given some insight into date rape, it's consequences, prevention strategies and a victim's options, and therefore enlightened people and made them more aware of a major growing issue in modern day society.
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