Sexual violence on college campuses is a prevalent issue. Most instances of sexual violence are done while either one or both of the individuals involved are intoxicated.
Let's be honest, all of us college students who drink, probably have had a day(s) or night(s) when we drink too much. Binge drinking is a college norm– even though it is dangerous, unhealthy, and an abuse of a substance– it is still a normalized activity within college culture.
However, just because drinking is a normalized deviant activity for a majority of college students, that doesn't mean the deviant behaviors done while intoxicated should be normalized too. Accepting responsibility for one's actions always needs to be done– whether it is sober or intoxicated.
When drinking, alcohol saturates your brain, impairing neurotransmitters and changing chemical reactions. This can influence us to act in ways we may or may not act when sober– however, there still have to be consequences for all of our actions.
For some reason though, when instances of sexual violence are reported– alcohol being involved is emphasized as an important variable that has a tendency to lessen the consequence of the interaction(s) against the perpetrator.
Whether it is questioning the validity of the reported interaction– or the reliability of the victim's statement– the fact that alcohol is involved plays a major role, when it really shouldn't.
Alcohol shouldn't be used as an excuse. Regardless of the individuals involved were intoxicated or not, unwanted advances– that requires a decision of: "Is this right or is this wrong?"– was made. The perpetrator chose to make that advance. Alcohol should never be an excuse for emotionally and/or physically harming someone else.
With that being said, it is never is okay to say that it is the victim's fault because they were "too this" or "too that". If a person of any identity is assaulted, harassed, stalked, or attacked, because they were drinking– it is the perpetrator's fault, not the victims.
I am so tired of listening to the news and hearing about the debate relating intoxication and the validity of actions committed while intoxicated.
If a person chooses to drive while intoxicated and is caught, they are given a DUI or OWI, and they have to deal with those consequences. Same should be the case if someone chooses to forcibly VIOLATE another human-being while drinking. Alcohol is still a variable in both situations, so what is the difference?
The fact is, when unwanted advances, harassment, assaults, or attacks are committed, there is harm done. This harm can create detrimental effects for the victim(s). These effects may follow he or she for the rest of their lives. It is unfair for the victim to have to live with the consequences, while the perpetrator may not have to, just because they were "too drunk" to know better.