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College sexual assault statistics show that alcohol is involved in around 50% of the cases of sexual assault on college campuses. More than 97,000 college sexual assault cases linked to alcohol and drinking happen each year.

Students Walking Down Stairs

College and Alcohol

Link between sexual assault and alcohol in college

Sexual assault on college campuses directly correlates with alcohol consumption. Studies show that alcohol is involved in over half of all sexual assaults on college campuses. Around 90% of the time, the victim knows the attacker casually and sees them around campus or may have a class with them. Although alcohol does not cause sexual assault and is not an excuse for it, drinking is a risk factor that can make it more likely to occur.

Binge drinking at college parties

Most underage drinking is done to get drunk, especially while at a college party, so teens are at risk of binge drinking. Over 80% of the alcohol consumed by young people is during a binge, meaning that a person needs to consume at least three to four drinks at one event. Binge drinking goes hand in hand with heavy alcohol consumption which is typically very unsafe.


College Students and Drinking

College drinking culture is linked to a higher risk of teen drinking and alcohol abuse in college. By the age of 18, almost 70% of young people have had a drink. However, the problem is not limited to casual drinking in young people. College alcohol abuse statistics show that:

  • Close to 38% of students admitted to binge drinking in college the prior month

  • Roughly 10.5% of college students admitted to heavy alcohol use during the previous month

On the other side of this, unfortunately, after a sexual assault attack, some victims turn to substance and alcohol use to cope with the trauma. The effects of alcohol abuse on victims can then compound the problems they face. Further, because drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, the victim might be at risk of additional assault as well. It's important for sexual assault survivors to seek help and support as this can help prevent PTSD and trauma from growing.

Sexual Assault and Drugs\

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

Drug facilitated occurs when drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent, meaning that consent is not given. While alcohol is the substance most commonly used to facilitate sexual assault, other drugs are also used to reduce someone's ability to consent to sexual activity. In addition, drugs and alcohol are often used to reduce the resistance, memory and credibility of the victim.

Rape Drugs

Specific drugs are known to be used by perpetrators to commit acts of sexual assault and rape. Date rape drugs are any type of drug used to make rape or sexual assault easier. Alcohol is often used this way, but some drugs also are used for this reason. Drugs or alcohol can make a person confused about what is happening, less able to defend themselves against unwanted sexual contact, or unable to remember what happened. Some of these drugs include marijuana, cocaine, or prescription or over-the-counter drugs like antidepressants or sleeping aids to overpower a victim or make them not remember an assault. Other more specific date rape drugs include flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and ketamine. These drugs are sometimes called "club drugs" because they are often used at dance clubs, concerts, bars, or parties and are used without their victims knowledge, including by putting them into a drink. If you've been assaulted, it is never your fault, no matter the circumstance.

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