Date rapists drug their victims for two reasons. First, to make the act of rape as easy as possible. Second, to make it all but impossible for victims to remember or dispute what happened. Unless a victim is willing to act on what may only be dim suspicions, subjecting themselves to the rigors and indecencies of a dubiously predisposed legal process, including invasive testing, there’s no possibility that the perpetrator will be prosecuted, let alone convicted. Date rapists can always claim sex was consensual and point to the victim’s willingness (if not eagerness) to be in the perpetrator’s company. Because the victim’s memory will be impaired due to the date-rape drug, they will be incapable of contradicting the assertions of the rapist absent any forensic proof to the contrary. Worse, if the victim doesn’t know what happened, how can they themselves be sure they said no?
Not surprisingly, the people most at risk for date rape are innocents who have no idea of the existence of date-rape drugs. If you’ve been around the block a few times, or gone to college, you know to keep an eye on your drink at the parties you attend. But if you’ve led a fairly sheltered life and genuinely believe that mommy, daddy, god and law enforcement are watching out for you when you venture into the world, you may not know that some of the people who seem most excited to meet you are flashing practiced smiles and reciting well-honed sales pitches designed to victimize you in ways you might object to if their intent was fully disclosed.
That charming person picking you up at the door and complimenting you on your appearance and buying you flowers or a nice dinner or taking you to their home in the country may be thinking the entire time about how they are going to put drugs in your drink and have sex with you without your consent, but they’re not going to disclose that fact. Because if they did you might reasonably object to that kind of treatment and opt out of the date, thereby denying the rapist what they want most.
Innocence Lost — Again
Hailing originally from the Midwest as I do, I have more than once been accused of being a country bumpkin. Having gone on to live in Los Angeles for a few years, and in the bustling Northeast for a few years after that, I flatter myself that those stops instilled in me the kind of street savvy and deep cynicism that allows people in those media centers to simultaneously dismiss and lampoon everyone else in the country. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I was reminded once again that you can never really leave the turnip truck when I read a Wall Street Journal article detailing the degree to which e-readers mine personal data from those devices. Even as I know one of the main goals of any internet-connected business is the procurement and exploitation of user data, including the selling of customer information to third parties, it still never occurred to me that e-readers were mining information about the private reading habits of users. [ Read more ]