College Women and the Victimization Label

According to the U.S. Justice Department, rape is defined as “forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.”

There is currently a controversy among many college campuses on whether or not rape victims are to blame for their circumstances.

One student wrote for The Daily Princetonian: “She knew what would happen if she started drinking. We all know that the more people drink, the less likely they are to make wise decisions. It is common sense.”

However, this does not add up. It is not fair to say that just because a girl decided to drink that she should have known that she would end up having sex that night. It is a known fact that college students binge drink and is a norm on many college campuses to do so, so is it fair to say that it is a girl’s fault she was assaulted when she was clearly just taking part in a normal, college activity?

In a counter to this column, some members of the university’s SHARE group said:

“If someone drinks to the point of an ‘advanced state of inebriation,’ there are certainly expected consequences. These could include hospitalization, blood alcohol poisoning and a massive hangover. To give carte blanche to perpetrators to take advantage of an inebriated person, however, is unacceptable.”

What’s scary about this whole controversy is that colleges are starting to jump on the “blaming the victims” wagon. According to this blog, there are many colleges that are trying to make it harder for victims to prove rape.

Rape is a very serious offense and many rape victims do not report their cases. According to RAIN, only 60 percent of rape cases are reported.

As young women, we need to do all that we can to spread awareness about rape and to rebuff this “blaming the victim” strategy.



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