Ugh, the pain of even typing the title of this post makes me mentally flinch. Apparently VOCM had a lovely “Poll of the day” that asked the following question:
“Do you believe that women and young girls do enough to ensure that they don’t become victims of the “date rape drugs”?”
Other than the apparent victim-blaming that is implied by asking such as question: “Well if you didn’t check the bottom of your cup for a frothy pill then you obviously wanted it!” the implied reason for the question is somewhat valid. Growing up, I knew enough about “date rape drugs” to take certain precautions at parties and get-togethers that insured that I never had to worry about being roofied. They were rather simple:
- Don’t accept drink(s) from someone you don’t know.
- Don’t leave your drink(s) unattended
- If 1 or 2 occurs, toss out drink and get a new one in a clean cup/glass.
I hate that this type of knowledge is something that if I have a daughter, I will have to pass on to her (as common sense as it is to begin with), as it is a legitimate fear. Date rape consists of 50-75% of all reported rapes, and don’t get me started on the statistics surrounding the estimation of how many rapes go unreported in the first place due to victim blaming and slut shaming. Oh hell, why not: “70-84% of rapes are not reported to law enforcement.”
And why the hell should we report them? The authorities are little to no help. Take a look at this little gem:
On the question of why so few people are being jailed for rape, the Home Office criminologists conclude: “Initial findings suggest that this might be related to a large proportion of rapes involving intimate (date rape) being reported and these offences tend to be more difficult to prove than those involving strangers.” [The Independent: "Police Fail in Date Rape Epidemic"]
This is absolutely wonderful when you realize that “About 85 to 90 percent of sexual assaults reported by college women are perpetrated by someone known to the victim“
So why shouldn’t VOCM ask such a question? With rape, and date rape being such a huge knife being pressed against our throats, why shouldn’t we be taking measures to insure that we don’t get drugged and tossed into someones bedroom and taken advantage of? It seems like a reasonable question. We know that the danger is out there, so why aren’t we trying to actively prevent this from happening to us? There is a part of me that wants to shake my fist at the sky and scream: “Because we shouldn’t have to!” but at the same time, I can’t even be angry, because the need to protect ourselves is necessary.
I’m not saying that every man that will ever try to hand me a drink is a rapist, but there will always be a part of me that will wonder ‘What if?’ before I politely refuse the drink. It’s not fair. Not to me, because I can’t trust on faith that a person is simply well intentioned, and not to whoever was offering me the drink because the refusal is rude and he/she was probably a decent guy/gal. It’s not fair that at 18 I had developed a ‘survival instinct’ and had an ingrained distrust of people in general.
It’s not fair, and it’s not right. I just want to be able to go to bars and booze with my friends occasionally without having to worry about being raped, and (god forbid) if the worst should happen, I also don’t want to have to worry about having to legitimize my rape to both authorities and the occasional batshit insane congressmen.