Saturday, November 29, 2008

Drugs and alcohol, sexual assault dangers

Staying sober may just be your best line of self-defense!

This may simply be the most "sobering" women's self-defense tips I could possibly give: The number one "date-rape drug" is alcohol - seriously! And furthermore, a significant number of young women and teenagers are subjected to sexual assaults while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Young people under the influence

Recently, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten had an online article about this sad fact: Seven out of ten sexual assaults on teenage girls occur in private houses - an increasing number of these sexual crimes are being committed at private parties and after parties.

More than half of those who were raped in Oslo during 2007 were under the age of 24. In 70 percent of the cases the victims were under the influence. The same was true about more than 50 percent of the perpetrators.

A couple of years back, a Swedish school report showed how a majority of the female high school student at one large school had been the victim om sexual assaults such as rape and/or attempted rape. Most of these crimes had taken place at a so-called "nachspiel" (after party) or parties with school friends and acquaintances.

"Stranger danger"? Guess again

Scared about the prospect of meeting a lone pervert hiding in the bush late at night ready to strike? It may happen, but it is really highly, statistically, unlikely. As these studies show the vast majority of sexual crimes are committed by someone the victim knows, or at least have met prior to the assault.

Even if we are talking to someone who doesn't want to hear - it must be repeated: Be very, very careful about drugs and alcohol! Someone you thought was your friend may turn out to be your worst nightmare.