date rape

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“Date rape” is when someone is forced or coerced to have sexual intercourse with someone else who is considered to be an acquaintance, during or after a voluntary social engagement. This especially refers to a non-consensual sexual activity in which there has been some sort of romantic or potentially sexual relationship between two parties. More than half of all rapes are committed by relatives, current or former spouses, partners, or lovers. During a date rape trial, the biggest dispute is whether the alleged victim consented.

Date rapes are one of the most prevalent types of rape cases, according to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). It is especially common on college campuses and usually involves the use of alcohol or date rape drugs as a means of coercion or as a chemical restraint. There are several drugs that make another person vulnerable to sexual assault, including rape, which are classified as "date rape drugs." One potent drug is Rohypnol; this drug is not legally manufactured or approved for use in the United States. Another commonly used date rape drug is Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB); which is also illegal in the United States. Ketamine is sometimes also used, also known as "Special K," "OK," "KO," "Super K," "Vitamin K," "Kid Rock," and "Kit Kat." Ketamine is legally sold as a veterinary sedative or hospital anesthesia. Evidence of date rape drugs in the victim's system would be powerful evidence of the defendant’s guilt.

[Last updated in August of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]