Acquaintance Rape

Acquaintance rape is sexual assault perpetrated by someone known by the survivor, such as a friend, a date, or a classmate. About 3/4 of rapes are committed by someone who is not a stranger to the survivor. It is estimated that among survivors who were raped while in college, 90% knew the person who attacked them.

Since the perpetrator and the survivor can belong to the same social circles, go to the same school, work at the same location, and so on, the chance of the survivor seeing the assailant again is high and this can cause significant distress. Because survivors know the assailant, they may blame themselves for the assault or have a harder time recognizing that they were assaulted, thinking that a friend or acquaintance is not capable of committing rape or would have stopped if they had handled the situation differently.

It is important to remember that any unwanted sexual contact is sexual assault, whether it came from someone known to the survivor or not. It is also essential to remember that assault is never the survivor’s fault, regardless of who committed assault against them.