Toronto Star

Heavy drinking factor in many sex assaults


Re Anti-binge drinking ad aimed at women falls flat, Sept. 1 Imagine a young woman going off to university who is worried about the risk of sexual assault. Imagine her parents telling her, “There are several things you can do to feel empowered and stay safe, but if we told them to you, that would be victim blaming.”

We hear good advice all the time about how to stay safe from burglars, muggers, con artists and other predators. None of it exonerates the predator or blames the victim.

Google “how to stay safe in a bar” for practical tips. A common tip: don’t get drunk. Heavy drinking is a factor in half of all sexual assaults. So the York University ads advising women against binge drinking are spot on. A separate campaign should speak to young men about the importance of consent if they want to leave university with a degree and not a jail sentence. David Giuffrida, Ridgeway, Ont.

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