The Tragedy of Date Rape

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Exemplary Essay - The Tragedy of Date Rape

In the fall of 1995, Kristin Cooper was a sophomore at Baker University in Kansas. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, an expert skier from the mountains of Colorado, a swimmer, and was active in band, choir and drama.

On the night of New Year's Eve of that same year, her mother Andrea Cooper came home to find Kristina dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on the family room floor.

Cooper shared the story of her daughter's last months through an essay titled "Kristin's Story". The essay includes poetry, letters and descriptions from the personal journal found next to Kristin's body on the night of her death. It was not until Cooper read the journal for the first time that
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If a friend hears that her friend has been raped, he or she should "listen to them -- don't judge or blame the victim." Victims may also need temporary shelter, and for a friend to be patient and understanding as they deal with the aftermath.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), only four out of ten of all estimated rapes and sexual assaults in 2001 were reported to the police. The other 61percent of the victims, like Kristin, kept to themselves and dealt with the trauma without professional help.

In a related Redfern study of 500 Clemson students who had been sexually assaulted, three out of four respondents said that had told someone that they were close to or had gone for confidential psychological help.

However, in 2003, only one sexual assault was reported to the police, a fact that Sparks believes is due to a fear of coming forward about the attack.

"We're trying to get the word out that it's okay to tell," she said.

Psychologists are on hand at Redfern to listen to rape victims without judging or blaming, to give comfort, and to look for signs of post-rape trauma. Without proper training, Cooper wasn't able to spot these signs in her daughter.

"I was not able to help Kristin, but I hope that by being here, I have helped a man or a woman in the audience," she said.

Cooper added that female date rape is not the only type of sexual assault threatens the population. Male rape, marital
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