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Handling the date rape issue

READ MORE: Handling the date rape issue
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Statistics show out of every 10,000 females, 350 are the victims of date rape. It is a crime that is under reported, which means the number may actually be higher. One local professor is taking steps to raise awareness of the problem of date rape. He specifically wants to encourage women to report it, if it happens to them. UNC Wilmington student “Kay” is hiding her identity for protection. She is a victim of date rape and the perpetrator was a long time friend. "I knew him. He dated some of my other friends. I never knew him to do anything like this he was trust worthy." One weekend that all changed. She believes her male friend slipped a drug into her drink. "I blacked out and pretty much don't have much recollection of what happen. I woke up and he was still on top of me." She fought him off and was able to get away, and she never told anybody about it. UNC Wilmington Professor Jerry Bagnell said embarrassment and disbelief are common reasons why date rape often goes unreported, and he is trying to change that. "This is not something you should be ashamed of because it's not something that you voluntarily got into. No one deserves to be raped." The awareness is leading to more victims coming forward and reporting the crime. "The attitude from college females is this has got to stop, I'm not going to let this happen to a friend of mine." Bagnell said. A grey area often lies in consent. Bagnell says if a woman doesn't say yes, it can be considered rape. "She has to be able to give you her informed consent, which means she needs to be sober, and she needs to be aware of the fact that she's agreeing. A lot of guys with defend their behavior and say well she didn't say no so I thought it was okay." “Kay” eventually came forward about having been date raped in hopes of preventing it from happening to someone else. "Tell people when it happens. Don't be scared because it's your word against his. Don't be scared because he doesn't seem like that type of guy." Professor Bagnell said alcohol does play a role in many date rapes, so the most important thing to remember is that no means no. If you have been a victim of date rape, there are resources to help. Call the UNCW counseling center at (910) 962-3746.

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