Did You Know that Alcohol is the #1 Date Rape Drug in Canada?
We’re all familiar with the societal norm; if you like someone, and you want to have sex or sexual relations with them (bow chicka wow wow), you take them to a bar or a party and you help them loosen up (read: get drunk).
But did you know that this is sexual assault?
Canadian law says consent to sex (which is ALWAYS required) can only be given when individuals are capable of making informed decisions and have clearly and freely demonstrated that they want to engage in sexual activity. Legally that means that if the person you’re with is wasted, they can’t say yes to sex (even if they still possess the ability to speak without slurring their speech).
But have no fear! There are plenty of safe ways to have fun with your friends, while consuming alcohol and getting your freak on. We’ve put together this basic list of Do’s and Don’ts, and some of the don’ts may surprise you. This is about not taking advantage of others, whether drunk or sober, because it’s the right thing to do. And we know you’ll make the right choice.
- The most important thing you can do is understand and respect what consent is, who can give it, and when it can and can’t be given.
- Communicate! When consent is given for one thing, it is for that one thing only. If you want to continue further, you need to ask for permission again (and again and again).
- If you have left a drink unattended, you should not begin drinking it again once you return.
- Use wing men and women as more than a means to pick up at the bar. Have them let you know if the person you’re interested in has had too much to drink, or if you are coming on to someone too strong.
- DON’T encourage others to drink past their limits before engaging in any sexual activity. It isn’t classy and it screams ‘I just discovered this thing called alcohol!’
- DON’T put something in someone’s drink (such as drugs or more alcohol) without their knowledge or consent. In case you weren’t sure, this is a crime.
- DON’T get handsy and start feeling people up when you’re breaking it down on the dance floor, unless they have consented to it.
- DON’T lean in and start making out with peoples ears, necks, chests, or faces (on the dance floor or anywhere else) unless they have consented to it.
- DON’T flash people parts (or all of ) your naked body unless you can consent to doing it and they have asked for it.
- DON’T remove other people’s clothes without their consent.
- DON’T go to the bar with the sole purpose of finding the drunkest person there and taking them home.
- DON’T slap other people’s butts without their consent.
- DON’T send drunk texts, Facebook messages, and Snapchats with pictures of you or your partner’s naked bodies.
- DON’T assume that just because someone is giving you their attention, they also want to have sex with you.
- DON’T keep harassing someone who has already indicated they are not interested in you. They are not playing hard to get. Leave them alone.
- DON’T engage in sexual activity with people who are sleeping, passed out, incoherent, staggering, resisting, not aware of their environment, or are unable to verbalize their consent due to intoxication.
- DON’T engage in sexual activity with people who have explicitly said or implied “no”, “not tonight”, “stop”, “later”, are silent, crying, or fighting back.
- DON’T continue to engage in sexual activity with someone who once consented, but has now changed their mind.
- These are ALL examples of sexual assault.
- DON’T be a bystander when you see sexual assault taking place. Speak up or get help.
It’s not rocket science people. If you want to have sex, find someone sober who wants to have sex with you. It’s a lot more fun when both parties enthusiastically consent, and when there is no worry about the negative implications of bringing too much alcohol into the mix (no consent, sexual assault, impotence, no recollection of this even occurring, etc).
If you have been sexually assaulted, it is very important to remember that it is NEVER your fault. The blame is on the person who commits the sexual assault. For support, or more information about sexual assault and sexual harassment, you can check out the website for Carleton’s Sexual Assault Support Services.
It happens MORE THAN you think!
And just in case the importance of our message isn’t coming across, we wanted to leave you with a snapshot of what sexual assault is like in Canada, and how much our suggestions can help to change these numbers.
If you are having trouble viewing this infographic, please click here for a plain text version.