Rev. Mark H. Creech on Alcohol is Common Contributing Factor in Rising Sexual Assaults at UNC

It was several years ago when the young woman confided in me. In a pastoral capacity, I listened as she told a sordid story involving a party with friends. Everyone, she said, had been drinking, were drunk and sprawled out on the furniture or the floor. That’s when one of the partiers undressed her and forced himself on her. It wasn’t consensual and she resisted but was too drunk to put up a fight. She lost her virginity that way.

“That’s terrible, it was clearly sexual assault,” someone might say. Indeed, and there are plenty of female undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill who could tell a similar story.

According to the 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities, more than a third of female undergraduate students at UNC report having been sexually assaulted during their time in college.

In its reporting about the survey, The Raleigh News and Observer stated:

“The survey defined nonconsensual penetration as penetration involving physical force (including attempts), coercion, no voluntary agreement or the inability to consent or stop what was happening because the student was passed out, asleep, or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol. Nonconsensual sexual touching was defined under the same circumstances.”

WRAL News also reported:

“About two-thirds of those reporting some form of [sexual] assault said they had been drinking before the incident, and a majority said the assailant had been drinking. Nine percent of respondents said they were given a spiked drink or drugs without their knowledge before the assault.”

The statistics for sexual assault at UNC are quite alarming. There does, however, appear to be a common denominator – something prevalent in most cases – alcohol. Although alcohol did not cause any of the sexual assaults, according to the survey’s findings, it was a major contributing factor.

Numerous studies have shown that approximately half of the sexual assaults on college campuses involved a situation where the victim, the perpetrator, or both were consuming alcohol. In fact, sexual assaults are more apt to occur in settings where alcohol is being consumed, and some perpetrators seek out these venues as a means of finding the vulnerable.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech