College is an experience that many students really look forward to after high school, what many do not realize is all the dangers that they are exposed to as they enter college. There are some dangers we can stop ourselves but there are many others that we just can’t do anything about. It is very obvious that drinking is very popular in college, now, drinking itself is a huge problem but there are other issues that arise with that. A very controversial and serious issue happening right now is the culture of rape and how it is related to drinking. Binge drinking can lead to bad actions and enable rape, however, the person is still responsible for their actions and there are no excuses for them.
Rape happens way too often and especially in a place where everyone should feel happy and safe, college campuses. One out of five women and 4 percent of men will be sexually assaulted in college and in most of these cases the assault will be done by someone they know. Forty two percent of college rape victims do not tell anyone of the assault, only about five percent of college assaults are reported. It is a known fact that four out of five rape victims will later on suffer from psychological or chronic physical conditions. Rape victims are thirteen times more likely to attempt suicide compared to others who are not victims of a crime. But very importantly one-half of those rape cases involve alcohol consumption by either the victim or perpetrator or in some cases both. Also in many cases the victims have some sort of drug added to their drink to facilitate everything for the rapist. These are all very scary and unfortunately very accurate facts.
Drinking is a very common hobby in college, almost sixty percent of college students drink alcohol and two out of three of them are engaged in binge drinking. Alcohol is a very dangerous and strong substance that can cause even the best person to expose the worst out of them, but alcohol is not completely to blame for. In this one article in particular the author, Susan O’Doherty, claims that binge drinking is an issue and that alcohol can facilitate rape, however it does not cause it. The author uses her life as an example, she talks about how her father was a loving and responsible man but when he drank he would beat her brother and yell at her calling her names. The next day her father would say to them that “it was not him, it was the alcohol”. She explains how the alcohol can’t speak or act and that it is the person who does all of this. No matter what an intoxicated person does they are still responsible for their actions. A great example she uses to make this statement more clear is an intoxicated driver who runs over a person, the driver is responsible for running over that person. She says it was them driving not the alcohol. When they are arrested the officer will not just let them go because they were drunk and can’t function with alcohol in their system. Lastly she says that binge drinking is a bad thing for both women and men but it affects them differently because of rape culture.
A way to make students more aware of this problem is by informing them more, there has been a load of videos going around the internet and even the television. There is a very recent one that really caught everyone’s attention. The video starts out as a group of different students realizing they have been accepted into college, they are all super excited and some even cry because they are very excited. Then they all start to read their letter of acceptance, it starts out well with them saying they are starting a new year but then they start to explain how as part of the school experience each one of the students will lose their virginity to a rapist while another will be raped in a basement and another will be the rapist’s third victim. As they read this the students still looked excited and happy as if it was a normal experience to expect. As the video continues it states fact, like for example that one in every five women gets raped. The video also explains how many colleges try to cover up or ignore all the rapes that occur to keep the good image of their school or even of the rapist. This parody of what happens too often on campuses is very eye opening. When students go into college they learn about financial aid, campus activities and clubs, tricks to do well in class, and even where all the buildings are located but they are never taught about what really happens in colleges and how often they happen.
From Personal experience I can assure that I was never informed about drinking or how I was at risk of getting raped at college which is a very scary thing since rapes occur so often unfortunately. The only reason I know about how to take care of myself if I do go to parties or what to do in these cases is because I like to be informed and have read many articles and even have done research on my own. This is a topic that really matters to me because there is so much that can be done to prevent rapes from happening. When students should learn not to go to parties alone, to always have a designated driver, and to never take drinks from a stranger.
A big connection between drinking and rape is the fact that people drug others drinks. In a study of 144 rape victims, sixty two percent had drugs in their system and five percent tested positive in what is commonly known as date-rape drugs. Date- rape drugs are given by a person to their victim in order to facilitate their intentions or to have sexual intercourse while the person is unable to give consent. Unfortunately these sorts of situations happen even in the best of colleges and closer than many might think. One great example is how just recently there were two separate reports from students at my own college, Saint Norbert College in Wisconsin, who suspected their drinks may have been altered at parties without them having knowledge of it. It is very scary and concerning to know that even in my own school things like this are happening.
College is a great experience to many but what people don’t know is that there are two sides to the college experience. Twenty percent of female students and four percent of male students will be rapped or sexually assaulted in their own college campuses while only five percent of these cases will be reported. Drinking and drugs are often linked to these unfortunate facts. There is so much that can be done to reduce these numbers, starting with educating students about the dangers that are around them on their own college campus and the effects of drinking. Although alcohol can’t be blamed for people’s actions. Everyone is responsible for what they do and should pay the consequences of their behavior.