Hi! I'm in high school and we have this project that we have to do and the topic choice was up to us and I chose to do mine on rape. I was wondering if you could help me out and send me any kind of information that you have on rape. It could be questionnaires or surveys or anything like that.

I am glad to you selected a subject which can be difficult to write about, especially if you are a woman. I'll give you some starters using material you aren't likely to normally find, but I won't do the research for you -- that would be cheating, which is a form of lying.

For the prevalence of rape, in "Sex Survey 'Eye-Opening' for Local Parents," published on on Dec. 11, 2005, it stated that more than 9 percent of male and nearly 12 percent of female high school students said they were physically forced to have sex.

One thing often overlooked is the role alcohol and drugs play. Take a look at "A Psychological Argument for Abstinence and Commitment" and look under the section titled "Psycho-Social Risk Factors, Single-Parent Families, and Alcohol." Also see: "CASA Study Reveals Dangerous Connection Between Teen Substance Use and Sex."

We understand that criminals exist in our society and so we take steps to minimize the chances of being the target of a crime. We put locks on our doors. We avoid walking in certain areas of town, especially in the evening. Women hold their purses tight. Teenagers tend to think that these things happen to other people. They take more risks that they should and then are surprised that those risks make them targets. This doesn't excuse the criminal, but we can't ignore doing what we can to reduce the chances of being targeted for a crime. The following are articles along that line:

This was published in the Omaha World-Herald. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the date.

Unfortunately, Date Rape Grim Reality for Students


Most students can't wait until their senior year. But about a month into her final year in high school, Kelly's expectations and aspirations were diminished after she was raped by one of her class-mates.

Kelly (not her real name) met her attacker in English class. They talked for about three weeks and then he called her.

"The next day we had a half day (of school) because of the heat," Kelly said. "He asked me if he could stop by for a little while. I said it would be all right. I wanted to get to know him as a friend, but I wasn't attracted to him."

The boy tried to kiss her, Kelly said, and her protests had no effect on him.

"The worst thing was that after it happened he got up and acted like it was no big deal.... I sat there forever and just cried. When I got out, I called a friend I worked with and told her what happened. Eventually a counselor came and then my parents came. My family was really hurt by it, especially my dad."

Kelly stayed away from school for a week. "I had my schedule changed so I wouldn't be in class with him anymore. Then I went back to school I was really scared. Every time someone would tap me on the shoulder or whenever my friends come up from behind me, it frightened me so badly. I was afraid it was him."

Despite the schedule change, Kelly eventually ran into her attacker at school.

"When I finally saw him, he stared at me and looked me up and down. It made me feel so weak and invisible. The worst part of it is that I had some notes from him making sexual advances toward me."

Burke guidance counselor-D. Moritz said date rape is a reality.

"I've worked with many students who have been victims of date rape," she said. "What we need to realize is that anyone who has been raped is a victim. Even just one student being victimized or raped is one too many."

Date rape cannot always be prevented, but women should be aware of : one sign — men who do not listen to you, ignore what you say, talk over you or pretend not to hear you.

To avoid being in compromising situations, go out in groups rather than individually and avoid alcohol and drugs, which can impair judgment and decision making.

Students often are afraid to report date rape, Ms. Moritz said.

"They feel as if it were their fault. The first thing victims of rape should do is to report the incident immediately." Victims may seek help from the crisis line at 444-4970.

See also:

"Rape" in Growing Up in the Lord: A Study for Teenage Girls
Questions and Answers regarding Rape