7 Warning Signs For Date Rape

couple-on-beachImage via Shutterstock

When I awoke on that bright spring morning of March 21st, 1986 in a pensione in Venice, Italy on my semester abroad, I didn’t expect the day to end on a dark, deserted beach with an Italian boy I’d just met pinning me to the ground hissing in my ear that he had a knife and would kill me if I didn’t “f–k” him.

Getting dressed that morning I didn’t know I’d have an out-of-body experience where I seemed to float above the scene, looking down at the two bodies grappling on the sand below, feeling profoundly sad that my mom might never know what happened to me after I died on a little beach so far from home.

I managed to survive my attack, and, all these years later, I’m a mother. My daughters are ten and twelve and the thought of them ever being in a similar situation is intolerable.

Bad things can happen no matter how prepared and careful we are, but when my girls are old enough I’m going to share my story with them and hope they’ll see the warning signs for date rape that I missed. Maybe these can help your daughters, too…

The Warning Signs For Date Rape That I Missed…

1. Your Date Tries To Get You To Ignore Your Instincts. When my friends and I were dining in Italy over our spring break, a handsome Italian stranger named David asked to join us for dinner. We were looking for a romantic adventure so we acquiesced. It was enjoyable, but as we were leaving with him, two of his friends, David and Marco, seemed to magically appear out of nowhere and asked to join us for a trip down to a little beach. My gut told me this was a bad idea, but after a lot of coaxing and cajoling we allowed all three boys to join us.

2. Your Date Wants To Take You To A Secluded Location. My friends and I accompanied the boys to the deserted beach even though we felt a little uneasy. We didn’t want to seem like uptight spoil- sports.

3. Appearances Lull You Into A Sense of Safety. David, the boy who attacked me, was very handsome and I must admit, because of this, I trusted him. The beach was cold so the boys ferried us into a little changing shack on the beach to light candles, drink and talk.

4. Your Date Encourages You To Drink Or Take Drugs. My friends and I were plied with wine from some bottles the boys produced and it wasn’t until after the attack that I recalled none of the boys were drinking.

5. Your Date Tries To Separate You From Your Friends. After about an hour my date encouraged me to stay inside the shack while the others went outside to look at the full moon. I was looking for romance and wanted a kiss, so I decided to stay.

6. Accomplices and Conspiracies: There may be multiple perpetrators who conspire to commit the crime. I believe all three boys were in cahoots about separating my friends and I in order to get us to have sex with them. What I didn’t know, while I was kissing David in the little wooden shack, was that Fabio and Marco were convincing my two friends to leave the beach with them.

7. Date Rapists Amp Up Their Attack Gradually So The Victim Doubts Herself. Again, listen to your gut. When David kissed me I enjoyed it, but kissing was all I wanted. I don’t know exactly when things began to go wrong, but at some point I realized the kiss didn’t feel like a kiss anymore. It felt like something hard and sharp, like a knife forcing me to the edge of a black pit. Unfortunately, my lapse in reaction time helped Marco and Fabio get my friends off of the beach. Shortly after that, my date made his intentions clear. He had planned to rape me all along.

What will I teach my daughters to do differently? 

1. Make a Game Plan With Friends and Have a Signal if you Need Help. My two girlfriends hadn’t wanted to leave me alone on the beach, they wanted to go back and get me out of the cabin. But Fabio and Marco pressed them, suggesting I probably wanted to be alone with David. The girls didn’t know me well enough at the time to be sure that wasn’t true and we hadn’t made a game plan beforehand. It’s imperative that girlfriends have each other’s backs in social situations, so be sure to talk and make safety rules before you go out.

2. Stay Sober and Aware. The wine I consumed muddled my judgment. It’s so common for young, inexperienced women to get inebriated or high in social situations because maybe they need to quell their nerves and want to be confident. Unfortunately, this gives the perpetrators free reign to exploit and injure you.

3. If you are Being Attacked, Engage your Vocal Chords, Scream and Yell as Loud as you can. I didn’t realize it, but from the moment David’s kiss turned bad I hadn’t engaged my vocal chords. I had whispered, “No, no, no, let me go.” But I hadn’t actually made a sound that anyone but David could hear.

Years later I went to a friend’s self-defense course graduation. I learned there that when women are attacked they frequently become paralyzed and don’t speak. I learned that engaging the vocal chords loudly actually ignites adrenaline, which allows women to fight back. Women are often raped and killed without making a sound.

After grappling for what seemed like hours, when David was finally able to jerk me onto my hands and knees and get my pants down, a wild, hysteria and a refreshed panic to get free overtook me. Sensing I was going to fight again, David threw his arm around my neck from behind.

Suddenly I found my voice and screamed “Rape!” for all I was worth. Adrenaline shot through me. I threw my elbow back and caught him smack on the nose. I saw blood spurt and then I saw nothing but sand and a solitary streetlamp on the distant street as I ran headlong up the beach.

It was the scream that gave me the surge of power I needed to escape. David chased after me, but I was able to get to the lit street before he could get to me. Then he disappeared as quickly as he’d appeared.

When I think about how close I came to becoming a Natalee Holloway or Meredith Kercher or Jennifer Levin, it makes me shudder and catalyzes me to share this story to help young women heading out into the dating world.

4. Finally, if the worst happens, RAPE IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Over the next months, and even years, I blamed myself for the attempted rape.

I should’ve listened to my instincts. I shouldn’t have gone down to the beach with boys I didn’t know. I shouldn’t have drunk any wine. I shouldn’t have wanted a kiss. I was too flirtatious, too bawdy, a slut.

I deserved it.

All too frequently rape begrimes a woman’s reputation. There are still many countries around the world where “honor killing” of rape victims is allowed due to cultural and religious beliefs, which victimizes the victim twice.

Although my attempted date rape shook my confidence about moving freely through the world, ultimately I became more street smart and savvy, far better able to protect myself and take necessary precautions to stay safe.

And I hope that’s what this story will do for my daughters. And perhaps yours, too.

About the writer

Shannon Bradley-Colleary is a Beauty Maven, Mom Butler and Wife Dominatrix who blogs at TheWomanFormerlyKnownAsBeautiful and is slightly Mustachioed. She's contributed to The Huffington PostThe Today ShowCNNNPR and The Daily MailOnline. She's won BlogHer's Voices-Of-The-Year three years running. You can follow her cruel infamy by subscribing to her newsletter here or following her on Facebook.

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Sarah 4 months ago

Okay, that is victim blaming. She didn’t encourage the attempted rape. People don’t encourage dapists, rapists rape out of power and control, and this person was planning to rape her ever since he first sat down and had dinner with her. This was a premiditated plan, he had planned to do so before she even knew. And in every other case, rape is never something that people, (I say people because both men and women can be raped) want, encourage, or deserve. The fact that your saying she invited it is victim blaming, and is essentially saying that it’s her fault. It’s people like you that encourage rapists to rape, because it empowers them, although in a horrible way, that they can rape a woman and they won’t get reprecussions for their crime because he victim will just get blamed. And by blaming victims of rape, your not helping the problem of rape as a whole either. Because people won’t take rape seriously because they’ll just hear all of this victim blaming crap and think that it’s the victims fault, it makes society entirely misinformed, it trivializes rape and makes it harder for rape victims to get support without being shamed, blamed, and revictimized (by this I mean that a person being blamed for their rape can often retraumatize them) for their own rape, and really, your aiding the rapist to rape, because victim blaming silences women and makes them less likely to speak out against rape, or press charges against the rapist. Why don’t you get a little educated on the topic before coming here with your victim blaming crap, or just shut thick either, because your really a piece of shit if you think that she invited the rape. And this is coming from a victim of rape.

Claire 10 months ago

Glkra, she is not saying that she deserved it – she is expressing some of the self-blaming tendencies that she and many rape victims delve into post-attack. She neither deserved OR invited it, and while she knows that now, she is trying to encourage other victims who may be self-blaming to stop doing so as a rape is NEVER their fault and a victim NEVER encourages a rapist, even through bad judgement or lack of enlightenment as you put it. Please know that I understand and respect what you were trying to say, but putting it the way you did is another form of victim blaming, albeit more subtle than honor killings or flat out slut shaming. Victims of rape are not sluts, they did not invite their attack, and more people need to stop justifying sexual attacks with victim behavior.

Chris Feldt 12 months ago

I am so sorry that this happened to you. I believe the most recent statistics reveal nearly 50% of all rape involve alcohol. Women process alcohol differently because of their body size. So don’t drink and you will make better decisions.

Also, there is an excellent book by Gavin De Becker called the “Gift of Fear” and I highly recommend it. This book discusses the very instincts you referred to in your article. Often, our “gut instincts” are correct but we don’t always listen to them. God bless.

http://www.samuraikarate.net

Charity 1 year ago

Rape will never fully end, because there are some people who will always get off on hurting others, no matter how well-taught. I sure as hell am not going to leave my daughter with no idea how to make wise decisions and protect herself as best she can, even as I teach her that being attacked is never her fault. I don’t understand why teaching my sons that “Yes!!” means yes, and that mommy will chase them with a baseball bat to the police station to turn themselves in if they ever rape a woman, has to be instead of, rather than hand-in-hand with, helping my daughter know what a predator might look like.

Kathy at kissing the frog 1 year ago

Shannon, this is so powerful. Thank you for sharing. I had a situation in college with a friend, and all these years I’ve thought it was my fault. I still do a little, but I also realize that he took advantage of me. I don;t have daughters – all sons – but I am going to teach them these same lessons so they are not the perpetrators – or victims themselves.

Glkra 1 year ago

I hope you will change the last statement from, I deserved it, to I invited it .. While your actions may have emboldened your attackers, having bad judgement did NOT mean that you, nor any woman, deserved wat happened! Only that through bad judgement and lack of enlightenment, that you may have encouraged it, although unwillingly.

Molly 1 year ago

I don’t think they are “just as likely to be raped by women” – or at least the statistics don’t portray that trend. Boys and men can be very vulnerable to sexual abuse, but usually it is men assaulting them. I don’t think there is a major crisis of women raping men in our culture (not saying it never happens, but it is not as common as women getting raped by men). Regardless, yes, I agree that this isn’t just something to share with our daughters but our sons too, since they feel intense shame if they are raped and often don’t come forward for similar reasons as women who are sexually assaulted.

Sherry 1 year ago

Although I agree that men should have the larger responsibility, life has taught us that we have to take responsibility for ourselves and not rely on others to do right. Because more times than not, the only people looking out for you is yourself. So its best to talk about how to help prevent rape from happening than telling people that men just shouldn’t be doing it. I also would like to add that the author should note, going with strangers is probably not a good idea in that type of situation. Even adults need to be wary of going off with people they don’t know. Its just not a good idea with anyone of any age.

Bottom line, girls look after yourselves and try not to put yourselves in dangerous situations, and parents teach your sons and daughters to have respect for all people.

gia 1 year ago

This happened to me as well-not in Italy but in my little town of Richmond, VA. It was 1986-I was 16 and a virgin. I am 44 now. What the author described fit my attack to a “t”. I blamed myself for years for going with him deep in the park, not trusting myself. Gives a girl a reason not to trust men! It affected my sex life. This man took an innocence from me that I would never get back. The only thing it did help with was my determination to never, EVER let anyone take advantage of me again. To the woman saying where are the rules for men….I’m not sure if you were attempting to be funny but this is NOT a funny subject. The rules for men……simple! Don’t rape a woman!!! I’ve not seen a woman yet take a man into the woods, overpower him and take his virginity. While I’m sure there are some cases where a woman has taken advantage of a man, I believe this situation is different. We’re talking a premeditated crime, involving one or more other men. My situation was I was in a park with my best friend, we met these two guys and went for a walk. The one who raped me got me alone while his friend kept my friend busy. Thanks for sharing your story! It helps even now to know you’re not alone!

Meg 1 year ago

This is the same scenario that happened to me almost 20 years ago. My friend and I were together, had a few drinks and were separated by two well-dressed, affluent men. Unfortunately, I was unable to escape as it was dark and I could not find my way back to my hotel. This was the worst thing that has happened in my life and I dread having to come to terms with these possible scenarios with my daughter. It took me many years of counseling to overcome my fear of men and date again. But, it is never, ever the woman’s fault in these crimes. They were predators who enjoyed their sadistic tendencies.

Pamela Farrell Arlen 1 year ago

u cant trust anyone

Donovan 1 year ago

I agree. There is no grey area here. Anything other than yes is NO.

Donovan 1 year ago

I think girlfriends definitely have a role in protecting their friends, but I think male friends have just as much or more. Only a small percentage of guys are rapists. It’s up to the rest of us to make it clear to those few that it’s not OK. Any discussion or planning beforehand gave the other two guys a chance to make it clear that they’re not willing to help and that they are willing to testify for the prosecution if anything happens. They can also make sure that no vulnerable members of the group get isolated. At the end of the day, men have just as big a role. The battle against sexual assault should not be men against women and women against men. It should be decent people against exploitation and violence.

Molly 1 year ago

When I was talking to (yet another) therapist about being date-raped when I was 18 (nearly 20 years have gone by, and yep, still talking to a therapist about it on occasion), she said to me quietly, “we don’t call it date rape anymore”. And I said, “well what do you call it then?” And she said, “We call it rape.” Just wanted to point this out in case anyone else feels that the term date rape minimizes the fact that it is plain old rape. I’m sorry this happened to the both of us.

Linda Hollander 1 year ago

Yep, ‘stop it’ is a powerfull word in our home, too. No matter whether we are having fun or not, when someone says ‘stop it’ everyone stops. I don’t have many rules, but this one is big. I teach it to all my son’s friends, my friends kids and nieces. Respecting each other’s boundaries and putting down your own is the most important thing in my opinion to prevent rape and assault.

Linda Hollander 1 year ago

Because scarymommy is for other scary mommies maybe?

Steph Lang 1 year ago

I have been going to counseling to work past all of the pain and the guilt and I could never understand why i could never scream. Until I read her blog post..I really am starting to realize that it is not my fault for what has happened to me.

Shannon Bradley-Colleary 1 year ago

I love all the moms of boys piping up here and knowing so many young men are learning about respect from their moms. This is the first line of defense. And so many young men throughout my life have steered me clear of potential danger.

Shannon Bradley-Colleary 1 year ago

Jo I’m so sorry too. I know four women who lost their virginity via date rape. It’s far more prevalent than we realize. I hope time has healed any wounds and that you don’t blame yourself. xo S

Laurenme3 1 year ago

To those asking about boys… Really?! How often is a boy date-raped? Here’s the list for boundaries: no means NO.

donna 1 year ago

Yes, fine, talk to your sons. Talk to boys. But do not let that overshadow the importance of this article and the truth that needs to be shared with your daughters! I, too, was a victim of rape or date rape, if you want. I knew my attacker. And despite saying “No” several times, still fell quiet and assumed it was my fault when he did not take my no. As a now 45 year old woman, it is beyond CRAZY to think that I was that “meek and mild” 20 year old victim. A time when I thought I ruled the world! Had no fear and thought I even owned a set of my own balls! So, yes – we need to tell boys that women have the right to walk down the street naked and not be harmed! But, we need to do a MUCH better job telling our daughters in exact words the PRE-ATTACK cautions they need to take. And we need to tell them over and over and over again! Thanks, Sharon for sharing your story! Hope it goes viral!

Alienne Engel 1 year ago

i know she’s giving an example of her own experience. but did she have to give stereotypically incriminating details about it? european men aren’t only out to destroy the virtue of american women. that’s my only problem with her story. she could have just left those details out. “i was traveling abroad with my friends”. done. no stereotyping, no story that sounds like the movie “taken” was modeled after a “real-life experience”. i feel sorry for this woman, yes. i’m just greatly disappointed in the fact that she makes european men seem like hungry wolves who can’t be satisfied with having consensual sex with women from their own country

Marissa Ritz Delaney 1 year ago

Masha Kovrizhenko your attitude is what is wrong with society. That attitude gives rapists free rein to do what they will and reinforces blaming the victim. That is why rape is the most under reported crime bc of people like you that blame the victim. Just bc you make a decision that puts you in not the best position DOES NOT GIVE A MAN THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT EVER HE WANTS TO YOU. I am a rape surviver and your comment makes me sick. Especially since you are a female that I can almost guarantee has at some point in your life put yourself in a position to be taken advantage of if you were in the wrong company. I pray to God you never have to experience first hand how horribly wrong your outlook on rape really is.

Melissa 1 year ago

Good list. I don’t understand the concept of “teaching men not to rape.” Is this the solution to crime-prevention? Explaining to the public that they should please refrain from committing violent crimes? My god, we’ve been getting it wrong all these years with prosecuting and imprisoning them.

Lora Ellison Harrell 1 year ago

My 7 year old daughter has been taking Aikido classes (a defensive martial arts) for 2 years. I agree with all of the suggestions in this article, and I will share my own story like this with my daughter in a few years, but I also love empowering her at a very early age with the physical strength and instincts to take charge of a situation. She has already instinctively used Aikido moves on me when I grabbed her wrist. I loved it. Aikido is a respectful and loving style of defense. It doesn’t injure the attacker, but it can disable them and put the defender in power. This physical ability transfers into emotional strength and confidence – all so important. I’m a big proponent.

Susan 1 year ago

When I was an undergrad I went out to a bar with my roommate. I was dancing with another friend and had taken a break when she came up to me and said she was leaving with two guys who had been buying her drinks. We wouldn’t let her. We made her leave with us. On our way back to the dorm she started hallucinating and hallucinated for the rest of the night. Later, she recalled that one of them had been handing her the drinks and at one point when his friend reached for one he and shaken his head and given it to her. Obviously, they had drugged her. I hate to think what would have happened to her if she had gone with them.

Jill Hoover 1 year ago

No matter what a woman does it is not an invitation. No means no always. And Masha that’s why rape culture is alive and well. That’s why during court cases and investigations the poor woman is slandered and her reputation is in tatters. That’s why 97 out of 100 rapists go free. No one is willing to talk about it

melissa 1 year ago

Agreed. Which is why with mine I teach them to be respectful, yes means yes, and sometimes yes can even mean no

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 1 year ago

I’m so very sorry you had to go through this. As a mother of two daughters I know the fear.

Jennifer Schroeder 1 year ago

A lovely not-to-do list for my son when he starts dating.. I still have at least 12 years.. I think.. XD

Michelle Painter 1 year ago

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Nick Walters 1 year ago

The only thing I can add to this is that date rape doesn’t just happen to women. It can happen to any one at any time. Men are just as likely to be raped by women, as well as other men. Rape is not a female only crime. Remember that folks. Other than that, very VERY good tips.

Lizza Dauenhauer-Pendley 1 year ago

Teach your sons NOT to rape!

T 1 year ago

I once had a man follow me onto a late night commuter train and attempt to attack me once the other passengers had cleared out. There I was, half his size on an empty train, in this very, very dangerous situation. I was young and naive. Looking back I would change every move I made that night. There were tons of red flags that I didn’t even notice. I should have been more aware of the danger, I had a false sense of security because this was the train I took every day to get home from work and I felt comfortable there. I am convinced that the one thing I did that saved my life was that when he attempted to attack me I screamed at him at the top of my lungs. I let loose and I completely freaked out at him like a wild woman. Once I started screaming, I had gained some control of the situation. He appeared shocked and even frightened (probably afraid of getting caught, I guess). Thankfully I was able to get myself off of the train unharmed.

Masha Kovrizhenko 1 year ago

Really ? No really she wanted just a kiss with a guy she just met , she drink and went to secluded place with a guy SHE JUST MET!!! And she wanted just a kiss and got surprised he wanted more ??

Jenny Luff 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing, I hope that has helped you, knowing you have given girls the world over some very important clues. Xxxx

Sasha 1 year ago

This is an article everyone should read. Date rape happens to men too, but it’s rarely reported. When I went through my own night in hell this article could have saved me. Because of the small town good old boy police force I never saw justice. Make sure your girls know their rights as victims.

Beca Whitfield 1 year ago

I was raped 4 years ago. Teaching our sons that no means no is just as important as teaching them when they are young it is not right to force anyone to do anything. The lessons will transfer over. Teaching our daughters that rape can happen with a familiar person just as much, if not more, than with a stranger.

Holly Rowan 1 year ago

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/06/28/326203255/tackling-sexual-assault-on-campus-with-comedy

The bit at the end of the clip in the article above really demonstrates the double standard. I got frustrated when reading the part where women shouldn’t drink or ingest drugs. Like women should have to curtail their drinking so men don’t rape them. Might as well just say “if you drank, it might just be your fault.” Then to talk about not blaming one’s self…

Michele Davidson 1 year ago

Why are the responses mostly from woman – where are the men in this discussion ?

Claire 1 year ago

While I’m a firm believer that boys should be taught not to rape and the onus should not lie on women to protect themselves, the author is sharing a personal story and she stated the points she’s making are based on what *she* learned from *her* experience. I’m sure it was hard enough to share her story, and I’m sure we can support her here.

Claire 1 year ago

Jo, I’m so sorry that happened to you. It was NOT your fault.

Amanda Adams 1 year ago

Our daughters AND sons should be taught not only to trust their guts, but to respect the person they are with. No really does mean no. As a victim of date rape, I can look back and see where things went wrong. You are sometimes with someone you trust that abuses that. I will teach my sons and daughters how their bodies are important, but their significant others’ is as well. It’s such a scary, hard thing to come back from, but you can and hopefully learn that not all people’s intentions are good.

Roxanne Carl 1 year ago

Definitely good to teach girls this and definitely teach our sons that no means no and that rape is always wrong.

Kimberly Mealey Colbey 1 year ago

I cannot thank you enough for sharing this. I will share it with my two teenage daughters, as this is one of my biggest fears for them. I applaud your courage!

Dawn Horton 1 year ago

You people judging and critiquing this woman are nuts. If her story helps one of our loved ones not be victimized, then that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing

Yolanda N Bill Jensen 1 year ago

Been in several situations and my gut told me NO. I truly believe listening to my Gut is why I’m alive and here today.

Grace Myrick 1 year ago

We should all read this. A must for girls or guys.

Sara Seymour Crecca 1 year ago

My daughters are 7 & 10. The conversation about trusting your instincts has already begun. Just last week, on a road trip, we stopped at a gas station, where a creepy guy made my girls (and me) uncomfortable. We talked about how they felt (creeped out, unprodded by me) and how that very feeling, that instinct, is never to be ignored. They have no idea what rape is (yet), but that’s ok for their ages. They do know to get away from a man like that, politely OR impolitely. I also highly recommend “Safe Side Safety Chick” dvd’s for all young children.

jgd 1 year ago

I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you. I take a martial arts class and while it always feels a bit ridiculous to yell every time I kick or punch, it has two purposes. 1. It forces you to breathe and 2. As you said, it gets the adrenaline moving and you actually kick and punch harder than when you don’t yell. It seems odd but it does work.

KezUnprepared 1 year ago

Fantastic advice. So glad you can use your horrible story to help others – a positive that can be found from it all. So sorry you went through that, but your daughters will benefit from your cautionary tale. Good for you.

Valerie Swenson 1 year ago

And the thing about engaging the vocal chords is something I’d never heard before. Excellent information!

Valerie Swenson 1 year ago

A big thing in our house…if someone says “stop it”…you stop. Doesn’t matter if they’re laughing or your only playing. Sets the foundation for when they get older.

Christina Stepnitz Crise 1 year ago

I’m sitting here cradling my two month old son and thinking to myself that he had better not grow in to a man like that. And I will do everything in my power to raise him to realize that is wrong.

Sandy Eberhardt 1 year ago

This is a fantastic article.

Nicole Van Hoose 1 year ago

Our sons have been too young to discuss rape, but we have always had rules in our house about respecting other’s boundaries. If your brother says don’t touch him, then Don’t. Touch. Him. You don’t get to ignore other people’s directives as to what is or is not agreeable to do to their body. It is not, “boys will be boys” and they just poke and hit and grab because they are boys that just need to be physical. Instilling that type of attitude allows people to feel entitled to do to others as they wish without having to control their own impulses. It teaches them that the only time I have to stop is when the other person MAKES me stop.
And teach respect for women. Demonstrate what a strong woman is. Don’t model poor relationships for your children.

Melissa 1 year ago

He was one of my close friends in high school. We worked together. One night I went to a party. I had one drink. The next thing I knew my “friend” was on top of me. I was paralyzed and sick. I had obviously been drugged and taken advantage of. It was awful and my senior year in high school was a living hell…

Adrian Alexander 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jordan Jujubee Dixon 1 year ago

Can we PLEASE stop focusing on what our daughters can do to prevent rape and start teaching our sons how to respect and not rape women? This is all important, sure, but it isn’t foolproof. Rape will only end when boys and men are a part of the conversation.

Crystal Shepherd 1 year ago

No,all rapists are NOT violent monsters. Many are family,friends,people who “seemed nice” and that’s why so many women blame their self.:(

Mary Schneider 1 year ago

Thank you, for sharing this. It’s scary as hell.
1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men, will be victimized before they’re 18.

I’m always pushing this page, but I recommend The Mama Bear Effect for parents, especially of young kids. She shares specific tactics for protecting your kids without scaring them, and for discouraging predators BEFORE your kids are victimized.

No one thinks it could happen to their kids. They think their kids would speak up. They think “not in my neighborhood”, and “not in my family”.

Denial is the predator’s strongest ally. Even in this blog article- one of the main points is “trust your gut”, and the girls went along because they didn’t want to feel socially awkward.

Be awkward. Be a Mama Bear, and teach your kids to be awkward too. Boys AND girls. They need to know not only that they have the right to say no, but how to do it.

((hugs)) to this writer for sharing her story. <3

Jennifer Spawn 1 year ago

thanks for sharing your story and putting yourself out there! one of the most important things my mother taught me was NEVER be a victim…of any kind. be aware of your surroundings and dont put yourself in bad positions, but we are all young and dumb at some point in our lives! “Raising Rowdy and Righteous Girls” is a good read for dads and moms alike

Ange Thistleton 1 year ago

And all our sons should be taught that only YES means yes, anything less means NO.

Kimberly Gerdes 1 year ago

Awesome information!!! Thanks for sharing.

Jo 1 year ago

Sadly, I wasn’t able to get away. It was a first date with a boy I’d known for months. He picked me up at home and met my parents. It was awful. He told me no one would believe me and my parents would think I was a whore. It was his word against mine and my reputation would be ruined. I have never told anyone about it until now. My husband doesn’t even know.

Nicole McKenna 1 year ago

It’s awful we still live in world we have to teach our daughters this. My own experience was not this traumatic, but I was scared of backing out. Scared of what may happen. I fear this discussion with my daughter more than anything else.

Jane 1 year ago

Yes parents absolutely have an obligation to teach their daughters a) how to proctect themselves, b) that no one has the right to make them do things they don’t want to or take advantage of them and c) that if something bad does happen they should fight back, seek help and not blame themselves.

But I think parents should also be teaching their sons these same messages – male rape wether by a male or female perpatrator is more common then the media and society is aware of and boys are also more likely to get into fights.

Let’s teach all our sons and daughters how to stay safe, respect other people and look after their mates so that no parent ever has to deal with the grief of their child being assaulted, raped or murdered.

Steph Lang 1 year ago

Thank you so much for sharing this. I never realized why I could never speak up or scream until I read #3 on what you will teach your girls. I have blamed myself for the past 17 years.. Thank you.

Jennifer Waters 1 year ago

I agree this is something all parents should read. Not just ones with daughters.

Jennifer Getz Sherfey 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing your story!!

Cate Andrews 1 year ago

I am so sad that you had to experience that. I don’t have daughters, but I promise you, I am doing everything I can to raise my sons into men who were taught that enthusiastic consent from both parties is the only yes. And without it, they’ll have to respect her, themselves and the limits no puts into place with dignity and character(no matter which party says no) So daughters won’t live in a world where the default is to expect a girl to have to defend herself and be on guard. And so we have a new generation of young men that will know they have no right to violate another, ever. So we have young people that respect each others bodies completely. It’s my job as a mother of sons. I take that responsibility very seriously.

Debbie Hurtado 1 year ago

Learn self defense. Karate, tkd, judo. Whatever. Too often women are made fun of for wanting to learn how to fight. If I had a daughter, she’d be in self defense classes starting at a young age and stay in them until college.

Caryn O’Connell 1 year ago

Agreed boys should be taught to respect boundaries but there are sociopaths the world over who care not about people and their boundaries. It’s always best to be prepared. Angela this is a good article.

Sandra Tuckman 1 year ago

Agreed, boys should also be taught respect, but I understand gearing towards girls as they are the ones who suffer the repercussions — better that they learn to defend themselves than count on boys having been taught well.

Yvonne Cook Scholz 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing. That’s exactly how it is.

Nicole Van Hoose 1 year ago

And don’t forget to teach your sons not to rape!

Jessica Waters 1 year ago

Very sad we live in a world where we must teach our daughters how to not get raped, instead of teaching our sons not to rape.

Nichole Webster 1 year ago

While I agree we need to teach our daughters to be safe and aware, it shouldn’t fall on the woman to have to be guarded. Men have the larger responsibility, and we have the job of teaching them not to rape.

Corinne Markham 1 year ago

It shouldn’t be called “date rape.” It’s just rape. Also, this article is excellent and well written. But, I’m forever disappointed with our culture that insists on teaching girls how to not get raped instead of teaching boys to not rape.

Debra Levine Curry 1 year ago

All great points. Who can’t remember feeling some of those same misgivings at one time or another. Thank you for sharing. You probably will save some other woman from this experience.

Hope Campbell 1 year ago

Where is the list for boys?

Hanim Ibrahim 1 year ago

And let’s not forget to teach our sons about respecting women.

Barbara York Purcell 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being brave enough to share you experience.

Can we also have a list for boys about how to respect and recognize boundaries?

Trisha 1 year ago

The exact same scenario happened to me, in Italy, in 1990. We met the boys at a restaurant beforehand, they cajoled us into walking along a deserted beach at night, and then we all got separated off, one of us each with a boy. I, too, was able to escape, but I still struggle with the guilt. Thanks for writing this.

Valerie Travers 1 year ago

I am sorry this happened to you. Thank you for sharing your experience in order to help others.