Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Wanna prevent rape? Stop getting wasted"

Ok, I should be writing up a NAS post for this week, but an article caught my eye that I just can't not write about.

Upon perusing through my Twitter feed, I saw this tweet, "retweeted" by Sr. Helena (who I adore, btw):

Which, of course, led me to this article.

I'm sorry, but no.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who is completely horrified and disgusted by the attitude presented in this piece.

I understand that the researcher quoted states:
"“I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” says Christopher Krebs, one of the authors of that study and others on campus sexual assault."
BUT THEN his very next sentence disqualifies that first one:
"But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”"
People, when you make a statement that is supposed to make your case clear, BUT THEN you follow it up with a sentence that begins with "but" or "however", etc...that negates your first statement.
It's like saying "I'm sorry...but...."

Look, I went to college. Heck, I even work on a college campus.
Do girls and guys get themselves drunk of their own volition? Yes.
Is this carelessness sometimes the open door that leads to sexual assault? Yes.
But, is that carelessness the sole reason for the potential sexual assault? Absolutely not.

Placing such direct blame on the victim, saying "oh, you could have prevented this", takes one very important piece out of the puzzle: the predator.

Making such a directly offensive statement like "Wanna prevent rape? Stop getting wasted" trivializes the entire issue. I find it extremely simplistic and insensitive.

I'm not saying that men and women shouldn't be intelligent about their partying choices, but deciding to not get drunk/wasted/high/what-have-you is NOT going to eliminate rape.

Men and women who aren't "wasted" get assaulted.
This isn't just a drinking-atmosphere problem.
It's a societal problem.

Are there many steps to ending sexual assault? Yes.
Is teaching the current and future generations about how to be responsible and respectful one of these steps? Yes.

Is not "getting wasted" the absolute one solution to this problem with society? No.

Let's be more sensitive, shall we?

What do you think about the article I linked to? I'd love to read your thoughts. Just remember to be respectful and sensitive in your comments, this is a very delicate topic that most people have strong opinions on. 
Any mean or unproductive comments will be deleted. You've been warned ;)


  1. Wow. I'm just shocked. This is of the same category as 'she asked for it because she wore a short skirt'. It's putting the blame with the victim instead of the abuser and it's just plain wrong.
    I'd like to compare it with parents who claim they just had to beat their child because he wouldn't obey. Yes, children can be irritating. Yes, they should behave themselves. But no, no way that a child could prevent being beaten by being good. Even though a child is behaving mindblowingly bad, it's never their fault they are beaten. The problem is with the parents, not with the child. The same goes for rape: no matter how drunk you are of how short your skirt is, it's not your fault. And no matter how little you drink or how chaste you dress, it won't protect you if the wrong man comes along.

  2. I just had to take a class on preventing sexual assault because I'm teaching CCD at my parish... I mean it is a little different than this b/c it was talking about protecting children, but I definitely agree with you. Obviously alcohol can play a role, but it ultimately boils down to the perpetrator!

  3. Wow... that's crazy. I'm with you. a girl + alcohol DOES NOT = rape. It just doesn't. Can it be a great situation for rape to occur?? Of course, but it's not a simple a + b = rape equation.

    I mean, really? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

  4. I don't agree completely with the tweet, but she did use the word "prevent" and didn't use "stop"

    The truth hurts. If women could lessen their excessive alcohol intake (which inhibits their mindset) AND if that very act could lessen their chance of getting raped, so be it. We should all be making smarter decisions.

    I'm not saying that women are raped because they are "getting wasted", rather I'm saying if we know there is an increased risk of getting raped by "getting wasted", then we should be one step ahead.

    1. Hi Andrea! Thanks for commenting!

      I totally agree with you that we as women should try to protect ourselves in any way possible. If we know that being inhibited can contribute to our chances of being targeted as victims of assault, then we can better prevent against these incidents.

      My concern was the general tone of post I linked to. So many women who have been victims of rape blame themselves, or even worse, feel the blame of others. Posts like these only fuel the fire of judgement that tells a woman that she was "asking for it".

      So while I agree with the general sentiment that I believe the author was attempting to get at, I believe that the way in which we present these suggestions for "prevention", or what-have-you, needs to be in the most loving way possible.


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