Heavy drinking fac­tor in many sex as­saults

Toronto Star - - OPINION -

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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