What used to be known as “date rape” doesn’t begin to describe it. That’s because we aren’t just talking about people who are on a date or dating—acquaintance rape can happen between people who:
In Nevada, any kind of penetration (with mouth/tongue/genitals/object/fingers) without consent is sexual assault. So, just because two people know each other, consent is never automatic or assumed. Acquaintance rape can occur with people who know each other well, trust each other, or even be in love. Gender doesn’t matter – acquaintance rape can happen with same-sex or different-sex relationships.
If there wasn’t a clear “YES” for every sexual act, it could be rape, no matter who is involved.
Remember: The absence of no does not mean yes.
Drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs when a person gives alcohol or drugs to someone to take advantage of them sexually. That makes it rape because a person cannot consent while they are intoxicated. The most common drug used for this purpose is alcohol.
Many times, the drugs and alcohol are taken willingly because someone thinks they’re partying with friends. Sometimes however, that’s not always the case. A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or unable to physically protect themselves, is not able to consent to sex or sex acts. Drug-facilitated sexual assault is particularly grievous because a person who was assaulted may not report the violence because they fear they’ll get in trouble for substance use.
But understand this: If you are under the age of 21 and drinking or using drugs during the time of an assault, you will not be charged when reporting the crime to the police. The authorities will focus on the assault, not your drug or alcohol use. No matter what, you are not to blame for being sexually assaulted.
Drugs commonly used in sexual assaults include:
What you can do:
Be an active bystander! If your friend appears more intoxicated than what you would expect from how much they’ve had to drink, something may have been added to their drink. Get both of you to a safe place immediately and call for help. Club security, a friend, a parent or 911 are great choices but you must act quickly.
Visit RAINN.org to find out more about the signs and symptoms of drug-facilitated sexual assault.
Choosing to party or use drugs does not license someone to rape that person. Sexual danger is never okay, never.
Just because two people are a couple, that doesn’t mean that one cannot rape the other. Rape can happen to anyone. A person’s body is still their own and they still have complete control over when to have sex. We must all continue to fight the myth that couples can choose to have sex with the other person without consent. When this happens, it’s called Intimate Partner Violence and it’s not okay. Straight, gay, bisexual, transgender – Intimate Partner Violence can happen to anyone. It’s your body, so consent is given by you. If your partner forces or tries to coerce you into doing things you don’t want to do sexually, we call that sexual violence and we want you to get help.
For help and resources for consensual relationships, visit loveisrespect.org.
Not everyone who says you are beautiful or special is looking for a relationship. That is one way that teenagers and young adults can be used. When someone pretends to be interested in you and then asks you to do things for them that make you uncomfortable in order to make them money, this is called “grooming.” It can be a slow process of getting you to trust that person so you will do what they ask, even if it is humiliating, frightening and painful.
They may make you think you’re doing it out of love. The person trying to exploit you can be your age, or can be an adult. That person can be any gender or sexual orientation. That person may be a “pimp” or may be recruiting for a “pimp.” It may start out as a relationship in which the other person makes you feel special and buys you things. They may tell you that your parents and your friends are not really there for you. They may also use threats to get you to do things that you don’t want to do.
If you or someone you know is in this situation, make sure to talk to someone you really can trust, such as a school counselor, teacher, a friend or your parents. Don’t let embarrassment or fear of being judged stop you from getting help. It’s dangerous, and you can’t be blamed – sexual exploitation is never the victim’s fault, even if the person exploiting you says you’re doing something illegal and wrong.
Find the help you need at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.