Alcohol plays a role in the majority of campus assaults. However, this does not mean that we begin and end our prevention message at telling potential victims to drink less alcohol.
Rather, our messages should focus on environmental and social change. Alcohol, and the environments that it is often found in, create atmospheres of high expectations--particularly around entitlement to other's bodies. Additionally, predators target those who are drinking heavily, or will use coercive tactics to try to increase drinking; alcohol is the most frequently used rape drug.
It must be said that someone who is drinking does not in any way deserve sexual assault, nor is it ever their fault. Additionally, perpetrating sexual violence is never excused by alcohol consumption.
While there are many great reasons to abstain from or drink less alcohol, in an ideal world fear of sexual violence should not be one of them.
- The Role of Alcohol, College of William and Mary If someone chooses to drink alcohol, that choice never equates to "asking" to get hurt. It is an offender who chooses to take advantage of another person's level of intoxication to commit an assault. http://web.wm.edu/sexualassault/geteducated_alcohol_role.php
- The Sexual Victimization of College Women, US Department of Justice The study estimates that a college that has 10,000 female students could experience more than 350 rapes a year, a finding with serious policy implications for college administrators. http://www.nij.gov/pubs-sum/182369.htm
- Center for Violence Prevention, College of St Scholastica This site is meant to help students, faculty, and staff get a clearer understanding of critical issues related to college students such as sexual assault & harassment, alcohol use and violence,and care strategies. http://www.css.edu/Administration/Health-and-Well-Being/Violence-Prevention.html
- Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention Provides support to all institutions of higher education in their efforts to address the problems related to alcohol and other drug abuse and violence. http://www.higheredcenter.org/
- The B.E.S.T. (Be Equal, Safe, and Trustworthy) Model: Preventing Sexual and Domestic Violence with Parties Women Love This primary prevention model engages students, staff, and faculty in shaping one of the single most dangerous social environments on campus through party policy and practice changes that make it safe to have fun. http://menaspeacemakers.org/best-party-model/
- Case Studies and Model Programs in Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention Over the course of several years, the Higher Education Center has collected information on a variety of AODV prevention programs at institutions of higher education around the U.S. http://higheredcenter.ed.gov/resources/case-studies/browse
- Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault: A Common Problem Amongst College Students (PDF:11pages/123KB) This article reviews the literature on college students' sexual assault experiences. Theories about how alcohol contributes to sexual assault are described; prevention and policy discussed. http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/media/Journal/118-Abbey.pdf
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