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10 Things You Didn't Know About Alcohol and Campus Sexual Assault

College is often a place where young people first experiment with both sex and alcohol. This combination can lead to uncomfortable and even harmful situations. September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month and we have 10 facts that every college campus, bar, and student needs to know about campus sexual assault and alcohol.


1. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.


2. 9 out of 10 college women who were sexually assaulted knew the person who hurt them.

3. 90% of these crimes were never reported.


4. 50% of campus sexual assaults involve a situation in which the perpetrator, the victim, or both were consuming alcohol.

5. 75% of self-reported perpetrators had used alcohol prior to the sexual assault.


6. 2 out of 3 sexually active college students reported some substance use prior to or during sex.


7. Women going to college are at a greater risk of being sexually assaulted than their peers who are not going to college.

8. People who said they drank “more than they should” are over twice as likely to be sexually assaulted as those who drank lightly or not at all.

9. Heavy drinking is one of the most significant predictors of sexual assault in college.


10. Sexual assault may affect students’ academic achievement as well as their capacity to contribute to the on and off-campus community.


Yes, alcohol is often involved in sexual assault but we have to remember that people are responsible for hurting other people and that alcohol is not responsible for sexual violence.


It's important to recognize how alcohol can be used as a tool to excuse bad behavior or make someone vulnerable so that we can recognize opportunities to step in and help. In SAFE Bar Training conversations bar owners, managers, and staff talk about ways to notice when someone is uncomfortable or unsafe and interrupt to help.

SAFE Bar Training conversations are simple, manageable, and they work – but you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out these real-life, Everyday Active Bystanders.


Interested in learning more about the SAFE Bar Network and our work to give everyone a safe night out, sign up for our monthly newsletter here. Or contact us at info@safebarnetwork.org


The SAFE Bar Network is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) you can join the team by donating your time, talent, and money to the mission of giving everyone a SAFE Night Out, just click here.


To learn more about active bystander skills check out our blog post, Obstacles. What obstacles? 3 Full Proof Everyday Active Bystander Skills.


Interested in learning more about bystander intervention? Visit our friends at With Us Center for Bystander Intervention.


If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment our partners can help. Visit MOCSA.org and RAINN.org


To learn more about the field of violence response and prevention visit PreventConnect.org and NSVRC.org

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