We need to rethink our perception of rape

by Sarah Stephens – Guest Writer

Although some may think rape is a rare occurrence, it is actually the most common violent crime on American college campuses. Not to belittle sexual assault offenses against men, because this does apply to both, but I’m going to focus on the offenses towards women today. According to studies done by the National Institute of Justice, 1 in 4 women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during the course of their college lives, and 55% of these women had been drinking alcohol.

You might think of rape as someone simply being attacked or forced into having sex, but there’s another form of rape that is often overlooked and often not even considered to be sexual assault. These are the rapes that occur after alcohol consumption.

A girl that has been drinking will sometimes be easier to pressure into sex, or might even be the one pressuring. This doesn’t justify it, however, and there are a couple of questions that need to be asked in this situation. Would she be willing if she hadn’t been drinking? Will she regret it in the morning? Does she even know what she’s doing or saying to you?

That last question seems to be the biggest problem. A girl can’t give the proper consent to sex if she isn’t in the proper state of mind. So the next time you are learning about sexual assault, I challenge you to consider “drunk sex” as one of its greatest forms, and to form an opinion before you’re in the situation to express it.

This essay was delivered as a speech in Comm206 Public Speaking and is shared with the permission of Sarah Stephens.

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