Alcohol is the most common ‘date-rape’ drug in Ireland

Alcohol as a Date-Rape Drug

11/09/2012

 

RCNI Press Release

 

Alcohol is the most common ‘date-rape’ drug in Ireland

 

As University students start back to college this week, and on the event of the junior certificate results, RCNI release its latest briefing highlighting that alcohol is the most common drug used to facilitate sexual assaults in Ireland. RCNI states that it is both urgent and possible to change the link between alcohol consumption and sexual violence.

 

RCNI Policy and Communications Director, Clíona Saidléar commented: “The acceptance of alcohol to ‘loosen up’ and facilitate social encounters creates specific problems in recognising that alcohol is being used as a ‘date-rape’ drug. Indeed, even the name we give it, ‘date- rape’, supports the minimisation of this act of sexual violence. In fact, the RAJI study found that in 74% of complaints involving rape facilitated by alcohol consumption, the defendant was not on a date or in any form of sexual relationship with the victim, but was an acquaintance in a social setting.

 

Treating sexual violence perpetrated when people have been drinking differently to “sober” sexual violence may result in victims minimising a sexual assault, or worse, blaming themselves. It may also result in perpetrators believing that they are doing something that they can get away with. Lastly, it may result in bystanders not responding appropriately to what, under sober conditions, they would recognise as a sexual assault in progress. We can change all of these.’

 

‘To prevent alcohol-related sexual assault we must respond to excessive levels of consumption, change our association of alcohol with sexual success and our tolerance of intolerable sexual behaviour once alcohol is consumed. Standards for the advertising and marketing of alcohol must be set with this in mind and must be effectively and independently enforced.

 

Messages to prevent sexual violence must acknowledge the role of alcohol consumption, and attitudes to consumption and sexual activity. They must ensure recognition that having sex with a person who is seriously impaired or incapacitated due to alcohol, whether voluntarily consumed or not, is rape.

 

‘Rape risk reduction messages that focus on alcohol must critically address the excuse that alcohol provides for rape. Rape prevention messages must not result in the misplacing of ‘responsibility’ on girls and women who were intoxicated at the time of their rape. Such messages reinforce victim-blaming and rape-facilitative attitudes.

 

Please visit our blog to see the full release Alcohol as a date rape drug which is part of a twelve part series of fact sheets and blogs released by RCNI which focus on alcohol and sexual violence. To access the blog and fact sheet log on to rcni.wordpress.com

-Ends-

For more information call Eileen Keleghan on 086 0603646 or email eileen@rcni.ie

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