Local News

Sep 17, 2013 4:46 PM by Janine Reyes

Expert: Acquaintance Rape More Common on College Campuses

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Experts say both of the sexual assaults reported on the campus of Texas A&M Kingsville within the past two weeks have the potential be 'acquaintance rape.'

The girls did not know their alleged attackers very well, but they trusted them enough to spend time with them.

Police only made an arrest in one case, so far. The other depends on the results of a rape kit submitted for testing, according to campus police.

In the case where there is no arrest, alcohol was involved, though, and that blurs the lines. As we learned today, alcohol is a common factor in acquaintance rape.

"You bring a girl to a party, you get her drunk, you drop the inhibitions, and then you attack," explained Jerry Dugan, community educator for the Women's Shelter of South Texas.

He says 90% of acquaintance rape cases involve alcohol. "The biggest risk group is 16-24 years old," Dugan told us.

Both girls who stepped forward at Texas A & M Kingsville last week fall in that age group.

Hearing about two rapes on one campus is frightening for female students we spoke with at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi campus.

"People now, they don't invite you personally, they put posters, I know here they put posters, like oh, party over here," one student explained. "Yeah, you don't even know who you're with all the time," added another.

Dugan says there are red flags to look for. Like a man continuing to give a girl or woman drinks while not allowing anyone else to talk with her.

The girls we spoke with say they'll use the buddy system to keep an eye out for each other, and that's important, because Dugan says sometimes the aggressor doesn't even realize it's rape.

"They're not going to outright commit a rape, in their minds, they may not even think of it as rape," Dugan said.

The reality is one in 5 women will be raped, and more than half of those cases happen between high school and college.

Most cases are not strangers, but someone you think you know.

If you or someone you know thinks they're the victim of acquaintance rape, you can call the Women's Shelter of South Texas. They have several resources, including counseling and legal help. The number to call is 881-8888.

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