Date Rape
In the United States alone, a woman is raped every 2 minutes.1
And the sad truth is that 70% of victims will know their attacker. 2

May 1st, 2009

This fall, I'll be going to college. And yes, I've heard the stories about sexual assault on campus. Whether it happens at a keg party or just a walk back to the dorm, it can happen anywhere. And I feel like its important for people, especially young women like myself and my peers, to know the truth about date rape and how common it actually is.
I think I know a pretty decent amount of information about rape. I spend a lot of time watching television shows such as Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI, and Cold Case. And even though these shows are mostly fictional, they have a sense of truth about them. They show that rape is something all too common and its important to know what to do if something like that were to happen to you.
I want this webpage to be a resource for students like myself to gather more information about date rape and ways to prevent it. And hopefully, because of my webpage, at least one person will be spared of this dreadful reality.

1 Strack, Shelley. Personal Interview. April 29, 2009.
2 Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Statistics,, 5/2009

Date Rape in the Movies

May 7th, 2009
Rape or any type of coerced sexual activity is a very serious matter. But lately, the media seems to be poking fun at the situation.

Released last month, the movie "Observe & Report ", starring Seth Rogen and Anna Farris, tells a story about Ronnie, a Mall Cop who just wants to trade in his flash light for a badge in hopes of winning the heart of the sexy Makeup Counter Girl, Brandi.
The movie is packed with cheesy action stunts, sex (and if that's not enough, more sex!)
But these sex scenes are stirring up trouble. Movie viewers and critics alike claim that the sex scenes seem more like date rape than consensual sex.
In one scene, Ronnie is on top of a clearly intoxicated Brandi. As he's "pumping away", she's unconscious (and not able to give her consent). But after a few minutes into what seems to be date rape, she suddenly wakes up out of her drunken coma and yells some profane words that "act as consent".

Even though she gave what seemed to be "consent", I think it gives the wrong message to the public. Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug. She was drunk and not in her ri
ght state of mind to make smart decisio

Yahoo Movies, Observe and Report (2009),, 5/2009

Legal & Accessible
May 13th, 2009

Date rape drugs are very common, maybe a little too common.
There are mainly 4 types: GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine, and Alcohol

GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate)- Approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy in 2002, GHB is usually taken in liquid form (although you can take it in pill of powder form). It is one of the most popular club drugs, mainly because the user is more sociable, they have more energy, and they have an increased sexual appetite.
Rohypnol- This is the brand name more commonly know as “roofies”. It’s a sedative, so it causes the drug user to feel intoxicated. Because of how quick the drug kicks in, it is the second most popular date rape drug. Effects are often felt within 10 minutes and can last up to 8 hours. Because of its side effects, like deep sedation, respiratory distress, and blackouts that can last up to 24 hours, “roofies” are illegal in the US, so if you have it in your possession, you could be charged.
Ketamine- Legal and often used for veterinary purposes, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor functions, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
Alcohol- Even though alcohol may not come to mind, it’s by far the most common date rape drug. “Nearly 90% of campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the victim or the assailant.” Not only does it affect your judgment, it affects you motor functions as well, making it difficult to fight back if you’re in a compromising situation. Prevalent throughout society, it’s difficult not to come into contact with alcohol. But know your limit before hand; it could make you one less victim.

Tips for Staying Safe

  • Before you go to a party or special gathering where you know alcohol will be available, set your limit before hand and let a friend know so they can keep an eye on you.
  • Never put your drink down. If you do, go get another one.
  • Don’t accept an open drink from anyone.
  • Avoid punch bowl drinks… you never know what’s in them!
  • And if you think you’ve been drugged, collect a urine sample and get it tested as soon as possible.

Brown University: Health Education, Date Rape Drugs,, 5/2009

Prevention Programs

May 13th, 2009
Because of the increased rise in sexual assault, more and more “rape prevention programs” are popping up throughout the country. The idea of these programs is to shift part of the effort from helping those who have already been victimized and focus more on preventing people from becoming victims.
Recently, these programs are being increasingly introduced to schools around the country. Just a couple weeks ago, the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) program was introduced to our high school. Offered only to senior girls, it allowed us the chance to learn what to do and what not to do if we possibly find ourselves in the situation of rape.
I think that this is a great program and it should not only be offered in more schools around the country, but it should be mandated by the state (or maybe even by the federal government).
Becoming certified to be a licensed
R.A.D. instructor, for example, can be a little expensive, so it is common for the instructors to charge the schools for the classes they offer. This can be a problem for those school districts that don’t have extra money to spend. This then raises the question, who is going to pay for this?
If it’s mandated by state, for example, then the state government should pay for it. I think that our country is morally obligated to keep us safe. According to the Preamble of our Constitution, the United States is supposed to “establish justice” and “promote the general welfare”. So shouldn’t they protect people from becoming another statistic?

Maryville Univerity: St. Louis, Rape Aggression Defense (RAD),, 5/2009

Victims Go Into Debt
Embedded video from CNN Video

May 18th, 2009
Imagine being raped.
Imagine after the assault, you find enough courage to go to your local hospital and get checked out. They use a rape kit, have you file a report with the police, and send you on your way so you can cope with what just happened.
Now imagine having to relive that terrible night once again when you receive a bill from that hospital, charging you for your rape kit. This is what happens to many women in Texas.
Something similar was happening in Alaska.
Back in September, the media found out that the same thing happened in the town of Wasilla, hometown of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Alaska's rape rate is 2.5 times the national average. So, the entire state of Alaska agreed to make rape kits free of charge to all victims, but Wasilla was the only town resisting. Palin said she had no idea this was going on, but I find it hard to believe since this was going on since the year 2000.
Its outrageous that rape victims be charged for something used to collect evidence. This evidence found by the rape kit is vital to capture the assailant. It's the police department's job to catch the perpetrator, so the government should be paying these fees.

Yellin, Jessica, CNN, Palin’s Town Charged Women for Rape Exams,, 5/2009

Rape Popular in Videogames

May 24th, 2009
Rape is making a comeback in pop culture. Still today, violence in the media grows. Crime television shows, music videos, music, movies, even videogames!
A Japanese videogame called “Rapelay” was released in 2006. Originally intended to be sold in Japan, the game was offered to British buyers through But has recently removed the game from their site because it was deemed “inappropriate”.
“Rapelay” displays unbearable scenarios and situations. Before being able to move past the first l
evel of the game, the player is instructed to sexually assault a mother and her young daughter at an underground station. Players also force women to have abortions. If the woman actually has the baby, the player has the option to throw her under a train. And you’re actually able to “gang bang” several different women, earning you titles like “Battle Rapist” and “Artificial Girl”.
I just don’t understand why anyone would make a game, let alone buy a game, where you can sexually assault virtual women. It’s disgusting and I think it should not only be banned from, but from the Japanese marketplace as well.

Moore, Matthew,, Rapelay Virtual Game Banned By Amazon,, 5/2009

Sex Common in Culture?
May 26th, 2008

Some cultures have common views. For example, in both the United States and Beijing, prostitution is illegal. We believe women should not be exploiting their bodies for money. But there are differences as well. In the US, pornography is common and sex education is widely taught in schools throughout the country. But in Beijing, porn is illegal and sex education is rarely ever spoken of.
Oddly enough, sex toys and other similar items are sold in many Chinese neighborhoods and it’s common for men to have more than one mistress. Because of the unawareness of the people, birth control is rarely ever talked about and laws concerning sexual harassment and rape aren’t as strong as they are in other countries.
Earlier this month, Lu Yumin, a local tax bureau official in Yibin county was accused of raping a 13 year old girl. He claimed he didn’t know she was underage when he paid her. Because of the way the laws are, he was let off with a fine of 5000 Yuan ($730), and a slap on the wrist.
Sex is so common in Asia that there was even an attempt of a sex theme park in Beijing. Appropriately titled “Love Land”, it was demolished before it even opened. Photos were leaked on the web and it stirred up a big fuss. Genitalia and reproductive organs were to be displayed prominently throughout the park. Statues of men and women in “the act” could be seen everywhere. There were even “sex technique workshops”. Representatives say that they only sought to “improve park-goers love lives”.
So is sex too common? Where exactly do we draw the line?

Associated Press, MSNBC, No Sex Park Please, We’re Chinese,, 5/2009

Everyone’s Issue
May 27th, 2009

As much as it may sound like rape happens only to females, that’s not the case. It can happen to men, and it can happen because of men as well. It’s important to be sensitive to both situations.

Men Can Stop Rape(MCSR) is a Washington DC-based organization that attempts to change college campus environments that perpetuate violence. MCSR gets very involved during the first few years of college students academic careers because statistics show that students are at a higher risk of rape the first couple weeks of their freshman and sophomore year.
MCSR tries to do its part by teaching young men ways that they can prevent rape.
Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t be forced to “be tough” or “act like a man”. Define your own manhood.
  • Speak honestly about sex.
  • Drugs and alcohol can affect a person’s ability to make decisions. Wait till you’re both able to say “yes” to have sex.
  • Look at the situation from a women’s point of view.
  • Ask men how they would feel if their girlfriend were sexually assaulted. Take time to learn about how it can affect their lives.
  • Be aware of pop culture’s strong message of sex and violence.
  • Chose words that are respectful to women.
  • Make a pledge to be a man whose strength is used for respect, not violence.
With these tips, we all can do our part in trying to prevent rape. One less victim could make a world of difference.

B, Amanda, Men’s Initiative for Jane Doe Inc., Rape Prevention Group Lists 10 Things College Men Can Do To Stop Rape,, 5/2009

United States Senate 2009

Principal Author:
Gabriella F. Vega
Bill No:

Title of Bill:
Sexual Violence in Media Rating Systems Act


Preamble: Whereas violence in the media is becoming more prevalent, it is also become more easily accessible and acceptable to impressionable people, especially young adults and adolescents. Television Parental Guidelines (TPG) rates programs on television and cable. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates movies shown throughout the country. And the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates computer and video games. The TPG, MPAA, and the ESRB should all have a tougher rating system addressing sexual violence because it is being too widely viewed by people who may act on this violence themselves.

SECTION 1: This act may be cited as, "Sexual Violence Rating Act".

SECTION 2: There shall be an addition of (SV) as a content label in the Television Parental Guidelines.
Sub-SECTION A: (SV) shall stand for "Sexual Violence"
Sub-SECTION B: Any program deemed (SV) shall be for mature audiences only. The rating shall read TV-MA-SV.

SECTION 3: Any movies containing sexual violence should be rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of America.

SECTION 4: Any computer or video game software containing sexual violence shall be rated AO (Adults Only) by the Entertainment Rating Software Board.

SECTION 5: This bill shall go into effect 91 days after passage.
I'm aiming this bill at the US Senate because they have the authority to make delegations nationwide. They have the ability to regulate Television Parental Guidelines (TPG), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Entertainment Software rating Board (ESRB).
I really think that if this bill gets passed, it will make a difference. There would be tougher ratings on media programs and games, therefore allowing less people to view them. If less people view them, they won't be as susceptible to the sexual violence. Without viewing the sexual violence, they'd be less likely to be sexually violent.

The purpose of this web page was to make people aware of the effects of date rape and how the cases are treated by the authorities, but how it affects people through the media as well. The media has so much power over what we think and how we act. That’s why I thought it was a good idea to propose a bill for tougher ratings on video games, television programs, and movies containing sexual violence.
I hope this page will lead to continued research and an increased interest in changing media ratings so people will become less influenced to partake in sexual violence themselves.