Youth, binge drinking and harmful attitudes

Age alcohol consumption and sexual violence

RCNI Press Release

August 14th, 2012

Youth, binge drinking and harmful attitudes about gender and sexual activity combine to create vulnerabilities which must be urgently addressed.

To coincide with the Leaving Certificate results, the RCNI is highlighting the need for action by government on youth, binge drinking and vulnerabilities to sexual violence. 

RCNI Policy Director, Clíona Saidléar commented; ‘Young people who binge drink are at a high risk of engaging in risky sexual practices, and being a perpetrator or victim of sexual violence. Research shows that between 2000 and 2004 one-third of those accused of rape in Ireland were under the age of 25 and half of rape complainants during this period were also under 25; 76% of all rape defendants were also found to have been drinking at the time of the alleged rape

Alcohol does not cause sexual violence, but its combination with youth and rape supportive attitudes about gender and sexual activity means that any serious approach to addressing sexual violence must address alcohol consumption.Simply holding young people who were drinking responsible for becoming victims of sexual assault is not the solution. The government have a duty to act.’

‘Strategies to reduce alcohol related sexual harm among young people, as produced by the World Health Organisation and the National Substance Misuse Strategy need to be implemented. The RCNI calls on this government to do so as a matter of priority’, she added.

The RCNI are today releasing their latest in a series of factsheets on alcohol and sexual violence.  Strategies in need of implementation highlighted in the report include reducing the supply of alcohol to young people, eliminating the sale of alcohol to intoxicated people, limiting and controlling alcohol advertisements, providing alcohol free socialising activities for young people, and improving the knowledge and awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption.

RCNI also insist that we must face up to the harmful attitudes towards sex, sexuality and alcohol, and ensure that the alcohol industry and community and sporting institutions within our society do not promote these attitudes and harmful associations.

The RCNI fact sheet is part of a series of publications entitled ‘Calling Time on Sexual Violence and Alcohol: The Facts’ which are available through the RCNI blog site rcni.wordpress.com

 

-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: Alcohol , Youth and Sexual Violence

 

For more information contact Eileen Keleghan on 086 – 0603646 or eileen@rcni.ie

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