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The following is adapted from Columbia University
Risk Reduction and Alcohol Abuse
Research shows that the use of alcohol is associated with 50-72% of all campus sexual assaults (e.g., Abbey 2002, Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, 2001). While it is indeed possible to have consensual sex while under the influence of alcohol, it is undeniable that intoxication impairs judgment, and that each individual responds to the effects of alcohol in different ways. For this reason, an intoxicated person may not actually be able to consent to sexual activity, and a high potential for misinterpreting signals exists when either party is intoxicated. When using alcohol, it is important to learn your personal limits, as losing control of your own decision-making abilities puts you at higher risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of sexual assault. Being intoxicated does not release any initiator of sexual activity from her/his responsibility for obtaining consent.
What can individuals and the community do to prevent sexual assault when alcohol use is involved?
1) Assess the risk factors involved in social or intimate situations where alcohol is being consumed.
a. Warning signals of controlling or possible abusive behavior:
b. Warning signals that a person may not be capable of consenting to sexual activity:
2) Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming a perpetrator of sexual assault
What can we do as a community?
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