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Sexual assault and intoxication

Sexual assault and intoxication

We often hear about the ‘’date rape drug’’ (DFSA drug facilitated sexual assault), but it doesn’t really represent the reality.

  • Like alcohol and medication, drugs can be a means of intoxication. This is why we put them all under intoxication.
  • Rape is only one form of sexual assault. All the other forms of sex crimes are equally important because they can all create similar consequences.

How to protect oneself from sexual assault under the influence of intoxication ?

Obviously, we wish that no one should have to protect him or herself from sexual assault under the influence of intoxication, but since this situation still occurs in our society, we can take some precautions to avoid it. However, whether you are being careful or not, you are NEVER responsible for the sexual assault. Only the sex offender is guilty and makes the choice to assault.

For individuals :

  • Always keep an eye on your drink.
  • Never drink in a glass that you haven’t been able to keep an eye on.
  • Only drink non-opened drinks, especially in public places.
  • Don’t drink from big punch bowls (information found in a recent study in campuses).
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Follow your instincts and be confident in your capacity to protect yourself.
  • Don’t accept to be ‘’walked home’’ by a stranger.
  • Keep enough money in order to possibly take a taxi.
  • When feeling unsafe, talk with a friend or someone you know.

Among friends, relatives, etc :

  • Go out and come back as a group.
  • Take care of each other.
  • Be mindful of your friends’ behaviors and when feeling suspicious regarding someone’s behavior, be even more attentive to that person.
  • Name someone in the group who will be attentive to the others.
  • Even if the person who looks intoxicated wants to be left alone, keep looking out for her.
  • Never let your friend go home alone at the end of the night.
  • Keep in mind that it’s sometimes better that you intervene than rely on what the others think. If you have a ‘’bad’’ feeling, listen to it and act upon it.

For the society :

  • Anyone who is responsible for an event or part of an institution is also responsible for the security of his clientele.
  • Don’t hesitate to help someone you don’t know if you suspect that she is intoxicated.
  • Everyone who is responsible for an organisation that wants to inform, educate and protect the population should be aware of sexual assault and intoxication. In addition, they should look into the necessary measures in terms of protection and prevention.
  • The promotion of solidarity and the protection of individuals can make a big difference.

***In our society, prevention regarding sexual assaults and intoxication is too often directed towards the victims rather than the aggressors : It’s their responsiblity to protect themselves, keep an eye on their drink, not go out alone, etc… Yet, prevention should target the aggressors since they are the ones assaulting! Society must stop putting the blame on the victims and start holding the aggressors responsible.***