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Sexual assault and date rape

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:45 pm
If you're a teenager who's dating, it's important that you're aware of sexual assault and date rape. Of course, these are unpleasant topics, but it's important that both young men and young women have respect for members of the opposite sex and, at the same time, know how to protect themselves if danger arises. In four out of five cases of unwanted sex, the rapist is someone the person knows, such as a fellow student, an employer, a neighbor, or a date. If you're a teen, here are some suggestions for protecting yourself from date rape. You're better off dating someone you know well, rather than a casual or chance acquaintance. Single dates, especially first dates, should take place in public places. Never leave a restaurant, party, or other get-together with someone you just met. Bring enough money to pay for transportation home, in case you need it, and don't hesitate to use it. Avoid being alone in social situations in which the other person is not your equal, such as an employer or teacher. Beware of expensive gifts and lavish expenses that your date may feel entitles him or her to more than you want to give. Don't become involved with anyone who won't accept the limits that you have set. Take a self-defense course or martial arts. Not only can it help you in an emergency, but it may give you more self-confidence and will show you ways to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Any case of sexual assault or rape should be reported to the police and to a family member immediately.
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