Acquaintance rape more likely to occur when drinking

Alcohol & Sexual Violence 2

Alcohol and Sexual Violence

 RCNI Press Release – May 4th, 2012

 Acquaintance rape more likely to occur when drinking

 RCNI urge people to challenge alcohol-expectancies around sexual activity

 A fact sheet highlighting patterns of alcohol involvement in rape cases in Ireland has been released by Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) today. 

 Looking at the findings of the 2009 Rape and Justice in Ireland report (RAJI), we see that 71% of rape cases involving a defendant and complainant who knew each other involved both parties consuming alcohol on the occasion of the alleged rape.

 This was in contrast to intimate or ex-intimate partner rape cases where they were least likely to have been drinking on the occasion of the rape. In stranger rape cases it was commonly only one of the parties who had been drinking at the time.

Therefore, in advance of the Bank Holiday weekend RCNI Policy Director, Clíona Saidléar, urged people to get informed and to challenge alcohol-expectancies around sexual activity.

Clíona Saidléar of the RCNI said: ‘In alcohol associated situations alcohol- expectancies about sexual activity are most likely to come into play. These expectancies can mean that people become predatory about pursuing sex and careless about consent. Although alcohol does not cause sexual violence it is often used to excuse violent behaviour, and to incapacitate and blame victims. Predatory behaviour added to the increased vulnerability of people who are drinking can contribute to circumstances in which a rape is potentially more likely to occur.  The bank holiday weekend provides an occasion for partying and we would urge people to challenge these alcohol-expectations and sexually aggressive behaviour in order to help make this a safer weekend for all.’

 

‘The RCNI urges everyone to call time on these alcohol-expectancies and sexually aggressive behaviours. We release these facts targeting alcohol use and attitudes to work towards reducing sexual violence in Ireland today. 

 

The fact sheet is part of a series of publications entitled ‘Calling Time on Sexual Violence and Alcohol: The Facts’ which will be released by RCNI over the coming months.

 

-Ends-

To receive the regular blog updates log on to rcni.wordpress.com for the full briefing document, referencing and fact sheet titled Alcohol and Sexual Violence: the extent of the Problem in Ireland.

For more information contact Cliona Saidlear on 087 – 2196447 or cliona@rcni.ie

 Note to Editor: More Facts and Information

 The RAJI study[i] identified significant differences in alcohol consumption by complainants and suspects in different relationship types. These findings are as follows:

 Acquaintance Rape

  • 71% of rape cases involving a defendant and complainant who knew each other also involved both the defendant and the complainant consuming alcohol on the occasion of the alleged rape.
  • Suspects and complainants who were acquaintances in a non-sexual relationship were the most likely to have been binge drinking on the occasion of the alleged rape (54% of complainants and 45% of suspects).

 Intimate/ex-intimate partner rape

  • Intimate partners and ex-intimate partners were the least likely to have been drinking on the occasion of the rape.

 Stranger Rape

  • Most likely to exhibit opposite drinking patterns between complainants and accused (e.g. where only one had been drinking).
  • In 26% of rape cases involving strangers, only one party (the defendant or the victim) had been drinking vs. 13% of cases involving known defendants.
  • However, this type of rape was the least commonly reported of the three types of relationships discussed here.

 For further information please contact:

 

Cliona Saidlear, Tel: 087 – 2196447

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