forced, manipulated, coerced, or unwanted sexual intercourse by someone known to the individual.
Acquaintance assault is often not considered a “true” sexual assault. Society tends to perceive acquaintance assaults as complaints by a vindictive woman who is dissatisfied with “rough sex” or is trying to blame the man for her own interest in sex. Regardless of whether an assault is perpetrated by an acquaintance or a stranger, these violent acts are motivated by a desire for power and control. Understanding this motivation can help us to get past the stereotype of the “sex crazed” maniac hiding in the bushes, and allow us to see the most common type of perpetrator—an ordinary, regular person who has a need to exert power and control over another person.
Typically, there are stages during which a perpetrator attempts to “prime” a situation for an assault, and they can occur in one evening or over an extended period of time. Many of these behaviors can seem to be normal dating rituals and may not necessarily lead to an assault. However, having an understanding of the strategies often used by perpetrators can be helpful.
Recognizing these tactics for what they are may or may not help the intended victim to avoid being assaulted; in any case, it may help to see that the fault does not lie with the victim not being assertive enough or communicating clearly enough; these tactics clearly demonstrate an intentional strategy of manipulation.