Building a Community Free of Sexual Violence

Rape Crisis & Sexual Assault Services

ACQUAINTANCE RAPE 


Acquaintance assault (sometimes called date rape) involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.).  


Acquaintance rape is a misunderstood form of criminal violence. There is a common misconception that acquaintance rape is not as serious, not as criminal, and not as traumatic to the victim as stranger rape. Some people think it isn't "real rape." These are mistaken beliefs. Rape is a felony crime, regardless of the offender's relationship to the victim. Acquaintance rape is just as serious and just as devastating to the victim as stranger rape.


If you are a victim of acquaintance rape, get the help and support you need to cope with the effects of the assault and heal from the trauma you have suffered.


Key Reminders:


  • A prior or current relationship or previous acts of intimacy are insufficient indicators of consent.

  • Verbal consent must be obtained both in each instance of sexual intimacy and as the level of sexual intimacy increases (e.g., moving from kissing to petting, from petting to oral sex, from oral sex to intercourse or anal sex, etc.).

  • Like other forms of sexual assault, acquaintance assault is motivated by a need to control, to humiliate, and to harm.