RCNI Call for Rape Prevention Programmes
RCNI Press Release – 26/09/2012
RCNI call for Rape Prevention Programmes that target Alcohol Consumption link to Sexual Violence
“Don’t be an innocent bystander this Thursday” is the message from Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) who have called on the State to fund alcohol-focussed, rape prevention initiatives which aim to empower people to recognise and safely intervene in situations of potential or actual sexual violence in a social setting.
RCNI believe that the introduction of rape prevention and bystander programmes, with a clear focus on the role alcohol consumption plays in sexual violence perpetration, could significantly reduce rates of alcohol-related sexual harm.
RCNI Policy and Communications Director, Clíona Saidléar commented:“rape does not happen in a vacuum. It takes place in a community, a society, a social setting. Bystanders have a crucial role in making the spaces they socialise in safer for everyone. Unfortunately mixed messaging, particularly about alcohol and its relationship to sex, can mean that bystanders stay silent when they are witnessing sexual harassment or coercion. This silence from bystanders can often act as support and encouragement to the harasser who may choose to take that behaviour further.
‘This is why RCNI are calling on the State to fund bystander programmes aimed at helping participants to learn to detect the risk of sexual violence in social contexts, to challenge sexist attitudes and behaviours, to intervene safely in potentially dangerous situations, and to provide support to friends who are being or have been victimised.
‘Such an education programme would have to be matched by enforced standards in alcohol marketing which do not reinforce a link between alcohol consumption and sexual ‘permission’ and ‘success’.
Please visit the RCNI blog to see the full 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