Defense Against Crime


Facts about Alcohol and College Sexual Assaults


Once young Adults leave home from the watchful eyes of their parents, it seems that for many the ability to make wise choices is often something they leave home as well. Once they are in college they begin to experiment with alcohol.  Unfortunately for many, this is when things don’t go as planned.

Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 20 to 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both parties. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often escalating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking students, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. The lines of Consent become blurred in the minds of one or both parties

Here are some interesting findings

  • Alcohol use can contribute to an atmosphere where anything goes, including rape by individuals or groups of Males.
  • Perpetrators use many forms of coercion, threats, and manipulation to rape their victim including alcohol and drugs. Alcohol, Rohypnol, and other drugs are often used to incapacitate victims.
  • Alcohol slows reflexes and can impair the victim’s ability to recognize a potentially dangerous situation
  • Alcohol impairs judgment and lowers inhibitions, making some people more likely to force sex on an unwilling partner.
  • Males who have committed sexual assault also frequently report getting their female companion drunk as a way of making it easier to talk or force her into having sex. (Abbey, A., McAuslan, P. & Ross, L. Sexual Assault Perpetration by College Males: The Role of Alcohol, Misperception of Sexual Intent, and Sexual Beliefs and Experiences. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17, 167-195. 1998.)
  • An incapacitated person does not forfeit his/her rights. In Michigan when someone is drunk, she or he is unable to give consent. If you have sex with someone who is passed out or incapable of giving consent, it will be considered SEXUAL ASSAULT
  • Males are more likely than Females to assume that a woman who drinks alcohol on a date is a willing sex partner.Males who think this way, 40% also believe it is acceptable to force sex on an intoxicated woman. (Journal of American College Health, 1991)
  • Under the influence of alcohol, Males are more likely to interpret a woman’s smile, laughter, clothes or body language as evidence that she wants to have sex.
  • Alcohol use at the time of the attack was found to be one of the four strongest predictors of a college woman being raped. (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology)
  • Although the new reports have labeled drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB as the date-rape drugs of the present, these are only two of the many drugs used to incapacitate a victim. Of the 22 substances used in drug-facilitated rapes, alcohol is the most common. (LeBeau, M., et al., Recommendations for Toxicological Investigations of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults, Journal of Forensic Sciences. 1999.)
  • At least 80% of college students who had unwanted sex were under the influence of alcohol. (Core Institute, University of Southern Illinois, 1995)
  • Alcohol is many times a common factor in most cases of dating violence. Of campus sexual assaults, 75% involved the consumption of alcohol by the victim and/or the perpetrator. (Caponera, 1998)
  • Of those involved in acquaintance rape, 75% of Males and 55% of Females had been drinking or taking drugs prior to the incident. (Caponera, B, 1998)
  • In 55% of campus sexual assaults, the offender and/or victim were drinking or using drugs (“The Rape Victim: Clinical and Community Interventions,” Sage Library of Social Research, 1991)
  • 60% of Sexual Assaults are never reported and legal agency.
  • 97% Of rapist never spend one day in Jail.

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