Menu
Call Today for a Free Consultation
877-695-1576
410-929-7105
Offices
Law Offices of Charles L. Waechter - The Premiere Criminal Defense Firm See Our Reviews

Why alcohol is considered a 'date rape drug'

Parents who are sending their child off to college in the fall have likely heard the horror stories of what can happen when young people who haven't had a lot of exposure to alcohol are suddenly finding it everywhere -- at fraternity and sorority parties, hidden away in dorms and at off-campus bars that are lax about checking ID.

While driving under the influence and alcohol poisoning are two of the more serious potential dangers of binge drinking, don't forget about sexual assault. A study that was recently discussed in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs followed more than 1,000 young men through their first five college semesters. An astounding 18 percent of those young men admitted to sexually assaulting at least one person during that time.

While binge drinking doesn't automatically turn someone into a rapist, researchers found that men who regularly engaged in binge drinking were more likely to behave aggressively toward women. In fact, alcohol is increasingly being recognized as fitting the definition of a "date rape drug."

Researchers found that it wasn't the consumption of large quantities of alcohol alone that caused men to force themselves on women, but the environment where the drinking was occuring and the attitudes of the other people there. That's why universities have begun including bystander intervention training in their programs designed to prevent campus sexual assault. That includes recognizing when someone is trying to fend off sexual advances and knowing how to intervene.

It's not uncommon for those accused of sexual assault and other sex crimes to use the defense that they were too drunk to realize what they were doing or that the victim wasn't in any state of mind to provide consent. Sometimes that defense has helped mitigate the legal consequences of a person's actions. However, as we've seen with some high-profile cases of campus assault, judges who go easy on young men who admit to having committed sexual assault can find themselves the subject of public outrage and even recall.

It's essential for parents of both young men and women to talk with their kids about the increased risk of committing or becoming the victim of sexual assault when they're in an environment filled with alcohol and with few -- if any -- people who will step in if things get out of hand. Sexual assault can have life-long consequences for the victim and the assailant.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information