Rape – the most heinous social evil of this millennium – has spread its roots deep in the society and embedded itself by adapting to modern technologies.
Interestingly, much as we may like to think ‘date rape’ is ubiquitous only in the western world, there is a rampant increase of date rape cases in India also. Modern youngsters, being addicted to smartphones and date apps, are common prey to this.
Related reading: Teenage rape. The end of innocence.
A friend’s party invitation
Maya was a lively, ferociously independent 24-year-old girl, who lived with her parents and a sister. Sis was her best friend, partner in crime and knew every friend and their stories too. Maya had bought a new dress for the New Year’s party. Her good friend Manav had planned a dance party in one of the city’s prominent hotels with Jayesh, an acquaintance she met a couple of times during office tea breaks with Manav. Sis said she looked beautiful in her skirt and shining tank top.
Manav came to pick her up and Maya waved excitedly to her sis, little knowing what was in store for her. Once at the party, she met five other friends of Manav. Lively by nature and knowing Manav so well, she let down her guard and started enjoying herself.
Related reading: The Penis Diaries Chapter 8: The dick head hangs in shame
Can I get you a drink?
She didn’t mind when one of the friends, whose father owned that hotel, got her a drink of his choice. But little did she know that the choice was related to the drug he used, not the type of drink. Within a couple of minutes she felt she couldn’t stand and so Jayesh helped her out of that place and took her to one of the rooms. At 3:45 am, Sis got a call to pick Maya up from a nearby petrol pump. She was lying undressed in the backseat of a car, bite marks and cigarette butt burns covering her whole torso, and bleeding profusely.
They filed an FIR, inconsolable Maya trying to remember that horrific experience and its painful torture. Though the sister stayed strong and got the offenders behind bars in spite of their influential family backing, Maya couldn’t bear the stigmatisation of society, police interrogations and the trauma of the friend’s betrayal. She committed suicide within 15 days of the incident.
Date rape drugs
Date rape drug or club drug or predator’s drug are some of the common names of these drugs used to commit such crimes. To name a few:
- Rohypnol (Roofies): It has two medical names, Clonazepam and Alprazolam. It comes in pill and powder form that dissolves in liquid, dyes clear liquid blue and hard liquor cloudy. But if dissolved in cola or any dark soft drink, it is hard to identify. It starts taking effect within 10 minutes of ingestion and stays in effect for 8 to 15 hours.
- GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate): It is the most common drug used in date rape. It comes in liquid form and is odourless and colourless. Though it has quite a salty taste, if mixed with sweet soft drinks, that can be camouflaged. It can be absorbed into skin by applying to jewellery, cards or keys.
- “Ecstasy” or club drug: This is a psychoactive drug used primarily as a recreational drug. It comes in powdered form, pills or capsules.
Related reading: Why you should raise your voice and say “Me Too”
Get medical examination
If you are a victim or get to know someone who’s been a victim of such assault, then you should be aware that proper medical examination would help them strengthen their case. A proper forensic examination should be administered as priority. Rohypnol remains active in urine for 48-96 hours. GHB can be detected in hair testing, as it can last up to 12 hours to months after ingestion.
One of the major indications is having too few drinks to account for high levels of intoxication and in minutes feeling drowsy or having impaired motor skill. Alcohol and any such drug is a lethal combination and can produce psychological and clinical negative effects on the victim.
Punishable by law
According to the Indian Penal Code, we doesn’t have any specific law related to Date Rape or acquaintance rape, but under section 375 IPC it states clearly that sexual intercourse without consent of victim is considered rape. It further confirms that consent obtained by intoxication is also rape and would be punishable. Under section 376, subsection 1 provides punishment of rape as under 375 of IPC. The minimum punishment as prescribed under 376 is seven years, and maximum of life.
This kind of rape is not exclusive to any particular gender, but the shame and blame attached to it creates an oppression to remain silent. Remember, having a drink on a date doesn’t give anyone permission to outrage modesty and it is not the victim’s fault. Stay safe and alert about people on cyberspace and real life, and spread awareness about date rape among youngsters.