DEAR ABBY: I dated a childhood friend for five years, and I felt very safe with him. However, last December, he drugged my wine and raped me. I am 24 years old and would have been careful around someone I didn't know so well, but I never suspected anyone I knew would do such a horrible thing.
His mother still refuses to believe he raped me. Rather than doubt that a son could do such a thing, a parent should encourage the young man to get counseling. Rape is not a harmless "boys will be boys" game -- it is violence.
There are two things I would like to say. To other women: Be very careful of whom you are alone with no matter how well you think you know the man, and watch your drink at all times.
To friends and parents of the rapist: When a woman says she has been raped, please believe her. Most women will not put themselves through the painful experience of telling people they have been raped unless it is true.
Abby, I don't blame myself for what happened, but I wish I had been more aware and less trusting. -- SURVIVOR IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR SURVIVOR: Having known the man since childhood, there was no reason not to trust him. You could not have foreseen that he would criminally violate you. According to studies cited by Gail Abarbanel, president of The Rape Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif., 80 percent of rapes are committed by someone the woman knows. Although acquaintance rape is often questioned, women MUST report such crimes to the authorities. A woman has a right to say no to sex, and when a man denies her the right to say no by slipping her drugs or forcing her, he is committing a criminal act. If the victim doesn't report him, he will be free to rape again.
I urge you to report your childhood friend's crime to the authorities to stop him from violating another woman as he did you.