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An estimated 4-minute read

I’m dating you doesn’t mean you can date rape me.

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Sara went to a bar to party with few of her friends. When she went to rest room one of her friends. Jacob carefully poured a colorless, odorless and tasteless powder in her drink. Coming back she consumed the drugged drink without knowing its consequences. Next morning she found herself in the bed of the accused. Under the effect of the drug she knew about nothing that had happened the previous night.  The accused possessed some photographs of the previous night, which he used to threaten and blackmail the victim. The victim was victimized for months and due to the fear and guilt she remained silent and confided in nobody. Ultimately she committed suicide to get rid of this miserable condition. This story may become a reality in life of any woman. Date rape is something we feel would never happen to us but it is a dangerous mistake to believe so.

It is unfortunate that many victims of date rape or acquaintance rape commit suicide. Recently a 15 year old girl committed suicide when she was gang raped by her boy friend and his friends. Bijal Joshi rape case which formed the headlines in 2004 was no exception. The lower court has recently awarded the five accused (Sajal Jain, Sugam Jaiswal, Ashok Jaiswal, Chandan Jaiswal and Karan Jain with life imprisonment. Bijal Joshi (24 years) was allegedly raped by her boy friend Sajal Jain and his four friends on the New Year’s Eve in a room at Hotel Ashok Palace, Ahemdabad. When the police took no notice of her complaints, she committed suicide leaving a suicide letter which mentioned the names of all the accused.

It is estimated that around 70,000 college students in the United States are victims of drug rapes or sexual assault every year. Mostly drugs like Rohynol, Ketamine and GHB are administered to commit such crimes. They are also known as predator’s drugs or club drugs. Their effects are generally permanent and a woman may not be able to conceive ever if administered such drugs.

Rohynol:

1. Its effect starts within 10 minutes of ingestion which can continue up to eight hours.

2. It may cause difficulty in walking, nausea, confusion, dizziness, muscle relaxation, slurred speech and impaired judgement.

3. However it is banned in U.S., it is legal in almost 60 countries including U.K. and Mexico as it is used as a medicine for insomnia.

Ketamine:

1. It is administered through injections in veterinary practice .

2. Causes hallucinations, numbness, aggressive behaviour, vomiting and dream-like effects.

3. It is available in both liquid and powder form.

GHB:

1. It is available in powder or liquid form and is easily slipped into a drink.

2. It causes unconsciousness, dizziness, drowsiness,sweating, nausea and respiratory problems.

3. Although the drug is odorless and colorless, it is quite salty.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Don’t accept or share drinks.
  2. Never leave your drink unattended, even if you are going to the washroom.
  3. If you find something suspicious in your drink pour it out immediately.
  4. Have a non-drinking friend with you at a party.
  5. Don’t hesitate to take help, if you feel you have been drugged.
  6. Choose taking drinks from a closed container and not from a pitcher.

What must be done by a date-rape victim?

1. If you believe that you are a victim of date rape take medical help. A urine test within 72 hours of the administration of the drug would reveal the presence of drug in your system.

2. Inform the police. To avoid any sort of harassment by police, consult and take help of  a N.G.O .

3. Don’t hold yourself responsible for the tragedy. Counseling would definitely help you to get over your guilt.

4. Suicide is no option. It is not the victim but the perpetrator who deserves punishment.

Indian Penal Code

Although we don’t have any specific laws related to Date Rape or acquaintance rape, the section 375 of Indian Penal Code, clearly states that sexual intercourse without the consent of victim is considered to be rape. It further states that, if consent for sexual intercourse is obtained by intoxication; then also rape would be deemed to have occurred. The minimum punishment for rape as prescribed under Section 376 is seven years. Hence a victim may take the benefit of the above section.

Criticism

It is unfortunate that some people believe that rape was justified if a woman asks the male out. Some of the perpetrators claim that they had right to have sex with their victims. Both the arguments are highly flawed; a man does not own his date. It is not obligatory on a woman to have sex with her partner. A relationship does not necessarily mean sexual relationship.

To prevent date rape a woman must be vigilant and careful. “Betrayal occurs only where there is presence of trust.” Both young males and females must be taught about sexuality in educational institutions. The risk factors and legal consequences related to rape must be discussed with students. It is the moral responsibility of every individual to inform police, if he or she feels that a woman is administered a club drug.

 

* the post has been published on author's blog www.legaldrift.com

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