Alcohol use by the victim and/or perpetrator is frequently associated with acquaintance rape. Alcohol use significantly increases your vulnerability to sexual assault. One study found that 70% of women and 80% of men had been drinking when a sexual assault occurred.
Excessive use of alcohol is the greatest risk factor for being a victim of unwanted sexual contact.
Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol impairs judgment. Individuals are more likely to assume that someone who drinks is a willing sex partner; they are more likely to interpret behavior, dress or body language as evidence they want to have sex.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions – it makes it easier to force sex on an unwilling partner and to ignore "No’s."
Alcohol impairs the victim’s ability to recognize a potentially dangerous situation. When drinking, you may not notice someone’s persistent attempts to get you to an isolated location or to get you to consume more alcohol. Intoxication also makes it much more difficult to successfully resist or escape a sexual assault – alcohol produces a slow and ineffective response to an attack.
Men often drink to feel less inhibited, more powerful, aroused and aggressive. Peer pressure also tends to encourage rowdy and aggressive behavior.
Alcohol and Sexual Assault
Legally, an individual cannot consent to sex if they are drunk; having sex without consent is RAPE/sexual assault.
Individuals who are drunk when they are assaulted often feel responsible for the assault. Our society is more apt to excuse male drinking behavior, but when a woman drinks and is raped, we hold her responsible for everything – including the behavior of her assailant. Please know that the victim is NEVER to blame for an assault, the person who committed the assault is fully responsible.
The majority of sexual assaults are planned, and assailants take advantage of the fact that alcohol or other drugs increase vulnerability.
Alcohol and Risk Reduction
If you choose to drink, know your limits and stick to them. Have one drink with alcohol and the next one without alcohol. Eat before you drink alcohol
Do not drink from a “punch bowl” or “jungle juice”! It is impossible to know what you are drinking and how much alcohol you are consuming. “Jungle Juice” is oftentimes extremely potent or spiked with drugs.
Avoid parties where “getting wasted” is the only reason for going
Go out with friends, and return home with friends. Do not leave friends behind.
Adopt a “sober buddy” – designate one person who will remain sober and watch out for friends. Do not allow friends to wander off with someone they do not know well, particularly if they are intoxicated.
If someone has passed out, do not leave them alone. Turn them on their side and call 911, do not assume they will “just sleep it off”.
Educate yourself about date rape drugs
Do not leave your drink unattended
Do not accept a drink in an open container
Do not accept a drink from someone you do not know well
Don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance
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