Ending Addiction for Good

4 Ways to Avoid Risky Sex While Drinking

Predators keep an eye out for easy targets. When you're drinking, use these four simple tips to help you stay safe. Read More

Great advice. But I have to

Great advice. But I have to say this isn't new. Perhaps you're trying to address the consequences of drinking behaviors but there are other consequences that are a direct result of drinking. It is the choice of the rapist to rape. The problem is the rapist not the victim or binge-drinking. Binge-drinking is a problem but this is victim-blaming 101. While binge-drinking may put you at a higher risk for rape, that does not mean rape is a consequence of binge-drinking. That just means that the rapist is taking advantage of you while in a weakened state.

This post is offensive to women who have been raped while drinking. For a woman may have taken all of these precautions but still may have been taken advantage of. Sometimes, it's the people you trust while sober who show their true colors when you're drunk. You don't have to be drunk to have had an error in judgment. Sometimes, the person you can't trust is your sober companion, sometimes the person you can't trust is within your group that you advise to stick together in, sometimes you don't have to blackout or get sick to be raped as it can happen when your sober companion takes you home so you can go to sleep, and most importantly it is not your decision to be raped. That decision falls directly on the rapist. It is posts like these that lead women to doubt themselves and not report. Please reconsider keeping this post up on Psychology Today, as I am afraid that it can trigger rape victims into doubting themselves and their experiences.

Safer is not safe.

"If you’re going to drink, use these strategies to keep yourself safe."

No. These strategies will only make women safer, but definitely not safe. Women are NEVER safe, whether they drink or not, whether they go out at night or not, whether they trust a male friend or relative or not. Women are at risk of being raped NO MATTER what they do or don't do. Women get raped simply because they EXIST.

So please, don't say "safe" when all you mean is "somewhat safer". The difference is HUGE.

Studies Show Which Behaviors Often Result in Which Consequences

Anonymous and Del, I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks so much for pointing out the blame-the-victim perspective one may see in this article. I see the heartbreaking and terrifying and broken and resilient and struggling faces of both perpetrators and victims every day and so I understand your perspectives. And I agree: it is NEVER the victim's fault! This article is written from studies that show on a population-wide scale what types of drinking behaviors are most likely to be paired with what sexual consequences. Rape isn't the fault of a person who passes out. But this person is more likely to be raped. The science doesn't say it's right or wrong or assign or absolve blame, it's only able to say things like "people who drink in groups are less likely to have sexual consequences."

And I think this is absolutely true on the side of the possible perpetrator as well: (predominantly) men absolutely must know that their sexual decision making is impaired while drinking. I don’t think drinking turns men into “rapists” per se, but makes everyone incapable of giving consent. If a man is too impaired to hear a woman’s, “No” or a woman is too impaired to give a clear no, that’s where a huge area of trouble, and trauma for both men and women, arises.

I hate the thought that anyone has this dark part of themselves hidden below the surface that can be released with alcohol. But I see it every day. I want people to stay as safe as they can. I want rapists to stop raping. And more than anything I want to see the sexual consequences of drinking too much cut down on the "drinking too much" side of things. People who rape or may rape while drunk need to stop drinking. It's that simple. Really, thanks again for your comments.

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Richard Taite is CEO and founder of the Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center in Malibu, California and co-author of the book Ending Addiction for Good.

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