Friday, July 9, 2010

Save Them From Themselves

So in a previous post, I made reference to a topic that was "for a different post on a different day". Well... this is the day and this is the post. Even though the attack on the character in A Soul Less Broken is not the result of alcohol, this is a topic that has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time now.

I am gravely concerned about the increasing number of young women who choose to become so intoxicated that they place themselves at risk for being sexually assaulted. I hear the general details about these cases time and time again. Women who drink so much, in a public setting like a party or a bar, that they actually pass out and either wake up in the middle of being raped or realize the next morning that something terrible happened the night before. Now, before I say anything else, let me go on record as saying, none of this justifies or condones the horrible, predatory, criminal behavior of the men who take advantage of these women, and these men should all be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But we have to ask ourselves ... why are some women willing to put themselves in such a dangerous position? In truth, they are playing Russian Roulette with their own bodies. They are certainly risking alcohol poisoning which can be deadly. And they are leaving themselves incredibly vulnerable for being sexually violated, often by people they know, sometimes by people who claimed to be their friends. I just don't understand how a whole generation of women has lost their own self respect and self esteem to the point where they would put themselves at such risk ... not just the risk of the sexual assault itself, but the insuing humiliation and character assassination that they will be subjected to at the hands of the defense attorneys. What these women don't realize, but quickly discover, is that the men involved almost always claim that "it was consensual". Since the women often can't remember what happened, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to prove that it wasn't. And the defense attorneys are fully prepared to paint a less-than-flattering picture of these women in order to place that "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury. Oh yes, these women have to testify in front of a jury. As if the attack itself wasn't bad enough, they then have to watch as their personal character is sliced open and dissected. Suddenly these women find themselves having to prove that they really were victims.

Granted, the media isn't helping ... young women are bombarded with reality shows and commercials that portray women "partying" and "getting drunk" as being funny and cool. Some commercials even go so far as to portray young women being drunk and sexually promiscuous as though it was a good thing (think Girls Gone Wild). And on top of that, people are making money off of it. This turns my stomach. I hope you find it equally revolting.

We need to reach out to the young women we know to get the message out about just how dangerous this type of behavior is. We need to pull these women back from the brink, back from the edge of the metaphorical cliff they are standing on. Somehow we need to save them from themselves.

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