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Feminism: Rape and Alcohol

Reminder: Getting Drunk Doesn’t Cause Rape to Magically Appear

“While many victims of sexual assaults are intoxicated, so are victims of other crimes — like robbery — in similar percentages. Further, as many have written, a woman can drink until she’s blue in the face and unless a rapist is present, she won’t get raped. She might have a really bad headache the next day, but she won’t get raped.

But what about men who drink and then get all handsy and don’t know that they’ve raped until they wake up the next morning horrified with themselves? A myth, says Culp-Reeser, who cites research that shows men who already plan on victimizing women will sometimes drink as a way to justify their behavior. Further, men who rape don’t just do it once; they tend to consciously select a victim, deliberately isolate her, and use alcohol to diminish her ability to say no. Alcohol is among the many “tools” employed by rapists who wish to victimize women; it’s not a potion that transforms a carefree college girl into a sexual assault victim.”

Actually, The Link Between Sexual Assault And Alcohol Isn’t As Clear As You Think

some good quotes from this article:

1) “A 2001 research project into sexual assault and alcohol commissioned by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism puts it this way: “Although alcohol consumption and sexual assault frequently co-occur, this phenomenon does not prove that alcohol use causes sexual assault.” In some cases, the researchers pointed out, it may actually be the other way around. The desire to commit a sexual assault may actually encourage alcohol consumption, as some men may drink before assaulting a woman in order to help justify their behavior.”

2) “But the important point to note is that alcohol is just one of many tools at rapists’ disposal — and if alcohol isn’t available, that won’t necessarily stop a rapist from assaulting people.”

3) “And perhaps more broadly, it’s important to remember that sexual assault isn’t actually unique in its relationship to alcohol. In fact, at least half of all violent crimes occur after the perpetrator, the victim, or both have been drinking alcohol. Sexual assault simply fits neatly within that larger pattern — yet we’re much less likely to assume that alcohol factored into an armed robbery, or call on people to stop drinking so they won’t get mugged.”

I was thinking something similar to the third quote (from the second article) the other day. We don’t say that murder victims should have made sure they didn’t drink because it’s their fault they were targeted, because that’s a load of crap.

Sure, there are many things that I can do to keep myself safer, and I do most of those things. I don’t go out by myself late at night. etc. etc. But that doesn’t guarantee my safety. In fact I have seen how it can lull women into thinking they are safe, until they are not, until they are raped by someone they know. While they were trying to “be safe”. The fact is that I can modify my life all day long, it doesn’t make rapists, and sexual harassers, and people who wish me harm, magically disappear. And I think that’s the broader conversation we need to have, why do we keep the onus on women to change their lives instead of addressing the very real problem that rapists keep raping?

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