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Rape Crisis and Referral Center (408) 287-3000.

What is Acquaintance Rape?
Acquaintance rape is the sexual assault of a victim who is in some way acquainted with the suspect. It could be a coworker, acquaintance, neighbor, or even a family member. Often women feel there is no reason to fear him. More than 40% of all rapists know or are acquainted with their victims. About 25% of all rapes occur in the victim's home. Many women do not report these rapes because they are frightened, embarrassed, or the assault did not fit the typical rape scenario. Some women are confused about what rape really is.

Rape is a violent act of forced intercourse, not sex, committed against a woman's will. It is committed to control and humiliate. It is not necessarily a sexually motivated crime. The attacker's pattern ranges from a surprise attack to attack after initial consent by the victim who changes her mind.

What women have to remember is that they don't cause rape. Women have the right to decide, based on their own values, when they will have sexual intercourse. It is not the woman's problem, it is the man's problem. It's important that women understand some of the myths surrounding rape, strategies to avoid rape, and necessary steps to take if attacked.

Last updated: 8/10/2009 2:13:29 PM