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What is date rape? What is acquaintance rape?

Sometimes people use the terms date rape and acquaintance rape interchangeably. Both mean that a person is raped by someone they know.

Date rape is when someone you’re dating, hooking up with or trying to get to know in a romantic way forces you to have sex without your consent. If you tell someone that you don’t want to have sex or do not give consent and they force you, it’s rape. It’s rape even if you’ve had sex with that person before or started to have sex but then changed your mind.

Acquaintance rape is when someone you are familiar with (a friend or coworker, for example) forces you to have sex against your will.

Date and acquaintance rape can happen to males as well as females. The overwhelming majority of people who are raped— 82 percent according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics—know the person who raped them. Both date and acquaintance rape take advantage of the trust that someone places in another person because they are familiar with them.

You can find more information and help at the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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