Date/Acquaintance Rape

Rape is not a crime diminished by the fact that someone knew the person who violated them sexually without their consent. Terms for this type of rape include date rape and acquaintance rape. Date rape “refers to a person forcing someone that they are socially, romantically, or casually involved with to have sex without consent.”1

“Acquaintance Rape is a sex crime committed by someone who knows the victim. It could be a friend, classmate, relative, co-worker. As a sex crime, acquaintance rape includes forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact,” according to the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.2

According to the “Statistics About Sexual Violence” report3 by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center: “In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them.”

Date rape drugs are used to subdue a person or make them unconscious in order to sexually assault them. These drugs are usually slipped into the victim’s drink without their knowledge, sometimes at a bar or club. Another term for being raped while drugged is “drug-facilitated sexual assault.”4

Date rape drugs may include GHB and Rohypnol (roofies),5 but alcohol may also render someone incapable of giving consent.

“Advocates for the rights of rape victims emphasized the concept of date rape to promote awareness that all sexual activity requires explicit consent from both parties.”6

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on date rape.

Footnotes: 1. drugabuse.com, 6/30/2016; 2. icasa.org, accessed 10/10/2018; 3. “NSVRC TIP SHEET: Reporting on Sexual Violence: Tips for Journalists,” National Sexual Violence Resource Center, nsvrc.org, accessed 7/25/2018; 4. womenshealth.gov, accessed 7/25/2018; 5. webmd.com, 5/20/2018; 6. “Date rape,” britannica.com, 4/11/2019


  1. Date Rape

    “The terms date rape and acquaintance rape were originally introduced into public health parlance in the 1980s in an attempt to dispel the myth that the majority of rapes occurred as random attacks by strangers. The concept of non-stranger rape was also used to give voice to sexual experiences that many victims believed had been nonconsensual but which were not criminal in nature because they occurred in the context of a romantic relationship. Advocates for the rights of rape victims emphasized the concept of date rape to promote awareness that all sexual activity requires explicit consent from both parties.”

    Annie Dude, britannica.com, accessed on 10/10/2018

  2. Sexual Assault Acquaintance & Date Rape

    “Acquaintance rape is a sexual assault crime committed by someone who knows the victim. It is also called date rape or marital rape if the crime happens on a date or among partners. As a sexual assault crime, acquaintance rape includes forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact. If someone has forced you to have sex, that is rape – even if you know the attacker. Here are some facts about acquaintance rape:
    [1.] It can happen any time or place. …
    [2.] The rapist may be a date, spouse, neighbor, colleague, classmate, delivery person or anyone else you know. …
    [3.] Most acquaintance rape occurs to women ages 16-24 …
    [4.] Seventy-seven percent of rape survivors knew their attacker …
    [5.] One out of every seven women is a victim of marital rape …
    [6.] Members of male-only groups, such as fraternities and athletic teams, are involved in a disproportionate number of rapes, especially gang rapes (Association of American Colleges Project, 1985).
    [7.] One in four college women were victims of rape or attempted rape while they were students. Eighty-four percent of them knew their attackers. Fifty-seven percent of the rapes happened on a date …
    [8.] Rape happens among people of the same-sex and within gay and lesbian relationships. …”

    Erie County Ohio, eriecounty.oh.gov, accessed on 10/10/2018

  3. Sexual Assault: What Is Rape?

    “The term ‘date rape’ is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend’s significant other, or any number of different roles. It’s important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy, or other acts like kissing do not give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.”

    Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), rainn.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  4. Acquaintance Rape

    “Definition: Acquaintance Rape is a sex crime committed by someone who knows the victim. It could be a friend, classmate, relative, co-worker. As a sex crime, acquaintance rape includes forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact.”

    Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, icasa.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  5. How I Convinced The World You Can Be Raped By Your Date

    “I finally broke down and told my parents. I said, ‘Dad, I was raped.’ He said, ‘I’ll drive down and get him,’ then asked where it happened. I think he envisaged a parking lot and I said, ‘It happened in my room.’ Dad said, ‘How did he get in, did he bust your locks?’ And I said, ‘No, he’s another student, and I invited him to hang out with me.’
    My dad said matter-of-factly, ‘It would not have happened if you had not let him in your room, Katie,’ and then hung up the phone. So I was on my own.”

    Katie Koestner talking to Claire Bowes, bbc.com, accessed on 10/10/2018

  6. Date Rape Drug Test Allows Women To Discreetly Check For Spiked Drinks With A Few Drops

    “The Undercover tests are small enough to carry in a purse or wallet and can be purchased online for $34.99 for a five-test starter kit or $49.99 for 10 tests. It takes about a minute to process and looks like a quarter-sized medallion with a foil coating on one side that resembles a miniature pregnancy test when peeled back. Women can either drop the liquid on the test or dunk it into a drink. The readout displays one dark pink line if the drink is bad or two lines if it’s OK.”

    Angelica LaVito, cnbc.com, 9/6/2018

  7. Date Rape Drugs

    “Date rape drugs are illegal and are sometimes used to assist a sexual assault. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that a person does not agree to. Date rape drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can’t tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you weak and confused — or even cause you to pass out — so that you cannot consent to sex. Both men and women can be drugged with date rape drugs.”

    Office on Women’s Health, womenshealth.gov, 5/22/2018

  8. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010-2012 State Report – Sexual Violence Data and Prevention Implications

    “Of female rape victims, about 47% were raped by a current or former intimate partner, almost 45% were raped by an acquaintance and over 12% were raped by a family member. … State estimates of female rape victims who were raped by a current or former intimate partner range from 26.1% to 66.5%, and for female victims of rape by an acquaintance, state estimates ranged from 32.3% to 62.1%.”

    National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), nsvrc.org, 4/25/2017

  9. Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010-2012 State Report – Sexual Violence Data And Prevention Implications

    “Date rape is a felony offense in which a person is forced to engage in sexual relations with someone that the victim knows, agreed to spend time with, or has a relationship with. Agreeing to a date or even a physical relationship is not the same as consenting to sexual relations.”

    Cleveland Clinic, clevelandclinic.org, 1/13/2016