June 12, 2006
Mugged By Reality
A POLICE chief sparks controversy today by suggesting the number of rapes in Scotland could be substantially reduced if women drank less.
Neil Richardson, assistant chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, bases his claim on new research which identified victims' alcohol consumption as significant in a third of attacks.
The senior officer said "a lot" of the 1,100 rapes a year could be prevented "by people not allowing themselves to be in a vulnerable position".
Richardson - who stressed he was not blaming women - spoke out after a study of more than 120 rapes revealed alcohol intake was a major factor in 40 cases.
Detectives concluded that the women were more likely to be targeted in the first place and less able to prevent the attack.
Richardson said: "In many cases the women reported being victims of date rape drugs but analysis shows it was far more likely they have just fallen victim to alcohol."
He added: "We know that drink reduces inhibitions and we take more chances, therefore we can make an assumption about the vulnerability that goes with that.
"I do think a lot of these attacks could be prevented by people not allowing themselves to be in a vulnerable position.
"People need to be sensible and take precautions. If there's a suggestion that people might not have been victims if they'd had their wits about them or had friends with them, that's significant.
"We are doing a lot of work to ensure that the services we deliver to the victims are the best they can be. That should not be mistaken for blame going towards the victim. We do not tolerate crimes of this nature."
And then the non-sequiturs began:
But rape support and alcohol workers insist women should be able to drink without fear of being attacked.
Women should be able to drink and not worry about being raped. Far too often reports of rapes focus on the woman's behaviour and the perpetrator becomes invisible."
And people should be able to leave their home and car doors unlocked without worrying about being robbed, but experience shows they can't.
A spokeswoman for Alcohol Focus Scotland added: "Men are also drinking too much and this can lead to them pushing further than they would normally go as their inhibitions are down and there may be more bravado."
Gee. Do you think? Could there possibly be some relationship between men being less inhibited, women being less able to defend themselves, and the risk of rape? Naaaah:
Experts fear that the growing binge-drinking culture amongst Scottish women is now making it easier for sexual predators to find victims.
Around 10% of women drink more than 35 units of alcohol per week, more than twice the accepted safe limit of 14 units. Nearly two-thirds of young adults have got so drunk that they suffered memory loss during the past fortnight.
Elsewhere in the city, a 25-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, told how last year a friend woke to find a man she met in a nightclub sexually assaulting her.
Although the friend had taken the man back to her flat, she had refused to have sex with him before passing out from too much drink. When she came to, she found she was being raped but was too afraid to stop it, unable to recall if she had consented while intoxicated.
Posted by Cassandra at June 12, 2006 08:35 AM
There's so much bad thinking on alcohol that it boggles the mind.
One thing I love is the "unit" theory of alcohol, which holds that 1 beer = 1 (smaller) glass of wine = 1 (much smaller yet) glass of whiskey. It's true that the alcohol content is the same.
However, beer's alcohol content is usually around or under six percent (Guinness is extremely low), which means that the large drink you are consuming is 94% water and flavors. Whiskey is normally at least 40% alcohol, which means that the small amount of liquid you are consuming is very richly alcoholic.
Basic first aid: If you swallow a "poison," the first thing you are meant to do is dilute it. How? Drink water.
If that can save your life when you've consumed (say) Clorox, I don't see why it would have absolutely no effect on alcohol. There should be a real difference between drinking beer and drinking whiskey... and in fact, my own experience suggests strongly that there is.
If government is going to persist in trying to tell me how to live my life, at least they can give honest advice.
Posted by: Grim at June 12, 2006 10:03 AM
Cassandra, it's not the alcohol so much as it is the lack of responsibility for one's actions. Both parties, male and female, are at some fault, but what is happening in the feminist and (USNA, USAFA) comunities is to blame the male. I believe alcohol was an influencing factor in every sexual assault charged at USNA this year. Also, to some extent, the female mids appeared to have banded together, and in some instances actually lied to investigators and officials. See the Midn Burnette letter here, http://pcrevolt.blogspot.com/2006/05/letters-we-have-letters-more-lamar.html
Additionally, I believe an after the fact investigation of the USAFA rape claims found that nearly 50% of those cadets later recanted admitting that they lied.
So alcohol it may be, but a failing feminist movement is also to blame. Scotland or here. Alcohol or not. It doesn't seem to matter, it's almost always only the male's fault to some.
Posted by: CoRev at June 12, 2006 10:30 AM
As has been reported, the scariest words in our language is when the government says, "How can I help you?"
Take personal responsibility for your own safety!
Posted by: vet66 at June 12, 2006 10:31 AM
It's funny. I sometimes drank too much when I was in my first year of college, but I didn't drink to the point of passing out and I used to (as Grim says) drink water in between drinks and if I started to feel funny I'd run back to my room and get a slice of bread.
Probably not terribly scientific, but it worked for me.
I also think perceptions have something to do with whether you get attacked. Studies have shown that muggers target victims by body language. There were times when I was in frat houses where there really weren't any other girls around. From what I heard later, I could have been taken advantage of, yet no one (even the guys who used to ask me out when I was walking around campus) ever showed me any disrespect. I suspect your general self-image and the perception of whether you're 'easy prey' have something to do with ending up in that situation too. No one asks to be raped, but when you're dealing with guys who are also intoxicated and you go back to their room with them, it's not terribly surprising that things might get out of hand.
I was actually surprised in college when several guys in a football frat approached me b/c one of their frat brothers was saying he'd slept with me (which wasn't true).
Aside from the obvious surprise over his saying that, I was kind of touched that instead of just believing their frat brother, they came to me and told me about it. The incident also let me know that I needed to be *a lot* more careful about who I hung around with.
Posted by: Cassandra at June 12, 2006 11:18 AM