Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

 

Parents, I know you’re probably busy trying to prepare for a piece of your heart to go out into the real world very soon. You’ve done your best to ensure that your college-bound teen knows the basics of adulting—you’ve covered all of the important stuff, right? Before you send your kid off, there’s one thing I need you to talk about, because even the most thorough, approachable, parents can miss this: 

Your college-bound teen needs to know about casual rape. 

My mother told me about date rape. I knew about predators. She did her best to emphasize the importance of looking out for myself. Unfortunately, in my naive mind, I always figured an attacker would be some very obviously, villainous person; I never expected the bad guy to be a friend.

Four months into my college career, I was drugged and raped by my friend in the on-campus dorms. A person who I considered to be a friend, took advantage of me in ways I couldn’t have seen coming. I kept this disturbing assault within my own heart for a long time, Although I was incoherent and incapable of consenting to sex at the time, rape culture said I was probably experiencing regret.

I’ve learned that there is a dark side to life in the college dorms. Having this awkward conversation could save your teen from the heartache that comes with the territory of being sexually assaulted by someone you know—take it from someone who’s stood in those shameful shoes.

Here’s a list of things your teens needs to know about casual rape before they head to college:

1. Rapists are opportunists.

According to RAINN.org, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, 7/10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. People who commit sex crimes don’t always have to attack aggressively. By gaining the trust of a victim, it is easy to cross boundaries. Teach your young adults to be cautious about the closeness of new friendships.

2. Flirting doesn’t excuse unwanted sexual advances.

I can relate so hard to this one. The person who raped me was a friend. Within our flirtatious friendship, he saw an opportunity and ran with it. So parents, I’m begging you, please tell your young adults that no matter how much they flirt, they could never deserve to be raped.

3. There’s a thin line between rape and regret. 

Oftentimes, victims of casual rape struggle with guilt because rape culture tells them they’re probably just experiencing post-hookup regret. I can tell you, from the front lines of that battlefield, that absolutely is not the case. Please assure your teens that there is a difference between regretting a hook up, and being unable—for whatever reason it may be—to say no. 

4. Consent. Consent. Consent. 

Consent is about communication. Consent is defined as a verbal agreement. It’s important for your college bound teen to understand there is nothing they could ever do to passively give someone permission to do as they please with their body. A verbal “yes” is always a must. Wearing certain clothes, engaging in flirtatious behavior, kissing a person, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or even previously engaging in sex are NEVER reasons to assume consent. It’s absolutely crucial to assure your future collegiate that even if they’ve wound up in a situation where everything is clearly moving on the path towards sex, they always have the right to say “no”. 

5. It’s OK to talk about it. 

When I was raped by my college friend, I didn’t speak out. I didn’t tell the housing staff. I didn’t file charges. I didn’t even call it rape. It took a lot of reevaluating in order to come to the realization that my friend had no right to take advantage of my incoherent and unable to firmly consent state. If I could go back and tell my young, naive self anything in the world, I would absolutely say, “It’s OK to talk about it.” So parents, before you see your college bound teen off, please assure them you’ll be there to tackle the tough stuff right along with them. 

Sending your child off to college is such an exciting time. You have ensured that your teen stayed on the straight and narrow path toward earning a diploma. You’ve invested endless hours into nurturing their soul. Now, the young adult you’ve raised is about to embark on perhaps their most exciting journey thus far. Please, take the time to discuss all of the things your college bound teen should know about rape in the college dorms. Awareness is the strongest defense in this battle. 

For more information about everything pertaining to sexual assault, please visit RAINN.org

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Tiffany Rodriguez

Tiffany falls somewhere on the spectrum between Proverbs 31 and Tupac. She's a Jesus following wife and a mother of three boys. Tiffany is raising her family in the beautiful So Cal Mountains. She is a city girl turned mountain mama, and she's committed to raising her little dudes up as men after God's own heart. Aside from writing, Tiffany enjoys creating art, face painting for parties, cooking, and all things beauty. She is a self proclaimed lipstick and perfume hoarder . . . but that may be because she's determined to keep her femininity in a house full of rambunctious boys! You can follow Tiffany on her blog and on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for more posts about how she survives the #boymom life.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading