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I am largely supportive of this campaign. But i do feel drink is a bit of a grey area. If a woman is passed out, then there can obviously be no excuse. But what if a woman drunkenly gave consent at the time?

You might say the sensible option is to play it safe and not indulge in any intimate action, but how practical is this?

I have several friends who have had 1-nighters whilst drunk, but still aware of what they were doing, and felt completely fine about it the next morning. I imagine they would probably have got somewhat miffed had thier companion said something like "no sorry we can't just in case your not 100% sure of what your doing"

My only issue with these sorts of campaigns - as said i largely support them - is that they do seem to accept that some women - and i do stress only some - will claim to have been raped to get back at somebody, having given complete consent at the time

Author: James, Male, Exeter
Date: 29/06/2010

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Look, I totally get that. It doesn't seem logically coherent to suggest that:

1. Men shouldn't have sex with drunk women
2. Drunk women have a right to have sex

And that's why legislating is a really tricky business around alcohol, and I get that. Here's the thing, though. Let's say a woman wakes up regretting a one-night stand that she completely remembers giving consent to.

That woman is really not going to "cry rape".

There are many reasons why this is so. Going through the process of reporting rape, especially with a known perpetrator, is a hugely difficult, often traumatic, thing to face; the conviction rates are abysmal; many communities still attach a social stigma to rape survivors; and there's simply almost nothing to be gained.

I know that drink is something of a "grey area" and there should be clearer lines as to when it is and isn't okay to sleep with an intoxicated partner, male or female. But to extrapolate that into the assumption that some women will falsely claim to have been raped "to get back at somebody" is problematic, and betrays a lack of awareness about the real procedures following rape reportage.

Hope this helped.

Author: Sally, Female, Ireland
Date: 01/07/2010

Perhaps people do need to take more responsibility James?

Just as the onus is on women to only go home with people they trust, or not to wear certain things or walk in certain places or drink too much - perhaps men should be considering 'is it a good idea to put myself in a position from which I could be accused of rape with this girl/woman? Do I trust her?'

Author: Anna, Female, England
Date: 01/07/2010

James, this campaign isn't meant to provide answers to every single situation involving drinking and consensual/non-consensual sex. What it is meant to do is raise awareness about rape apologist attitudes. I'm sure there are girls who say they've been raped just to get back at someone; people say things that aren't true to get back at other people all the time. The problem is when this situation is used as a rape apology and is applied to any discussion involving rape. "She's lying just to get back at him" is a very common rape apology, and serves to call EVERY woman who claims to be raped into doubt. James, if you are supportive of these campaigns, then take them for what they are: vehicles to question rape apologist attitudes, not rape survivors.

Author: Chelsey Worth, Female, Canada
Date: 01/07/2010

Hi James,

Legally this is easy - a drunk person is unable to give informed consent, ever. Similarly a 12 year old can't give consent, so any apparently consensual sex is automatically rape as the law doesn't deem under 13's to be able to consent - and it is exactly the same with drunk people.

Yes, there are (and always will be) arguments about how drunk you have to be in order to not be able to consent, and this is most prevelant in medical situations; but a good standard to use is that if you think a person is too intoxicated to make sound judgements then whatever they say, you shouldn't actually have sex with them - as they can't give consent.

Sounds like a harsh line, but men are (or should be!) able to stop themselves having sex with 12 year old girls because it's statuary rape, so why can't they stop themselves having sex with drunk women?!

Author: Clare, Female, London
Date: 03/07/2010

Sally: you cannot generalise and say that the woman regretting a one night stand is not going to cry rape. As I said in another post, there are documented cases of false allegations of rape. I recall one case some years ago, when a woman had gone back to a holiday park with a man she met in a bar. For whatever reason, he tape recorded the "event" when they had sex. She went to the police and said she had been raped. He produced the tape, and it was clear she was a willing participant. She was then charged with an attempt to pervert the course of justice and the Sheriff in Ayr commented on how appalling it was to accuse someone of such a serious crime. The Sheriff was attacked for "siding" with the victim of this crime (the man). Unfortunately, the law does not sentence the woman to the same length of sentence for a false allegation as the man if convicted of the rape. So, it does happen. And there are other examples. Rape is not a gender issue. Men are raped too. Children are raped. The real danger is that the more you try to change the law to result in convictions, the more difficult it will become to persuade juries to convict. It is in the end up to them. Juries of men and women clearly take the view that they should take real care in considering the evidence. The low rate of conviction is open to question. Is that 3% of reported rapes? How many are not proceeded with by the Crown because of lack of evidence? Most crime stats are based upon the number of convictions of cases that go to trial. My own experience in the criminal justice system is that most rapes that go to trial result in conviction. As a former prosecutor, I prosecuted 10 rapes, and 8 resulted in conviction. Including, I may say, the rape of two prostitutes which was not an easy conviction to obtain. So how reliable is the 3% figure?

Author: affronted, Male, edinburgh
Date: 03/07/2010

It's hard to know where to start in responding to the sheer scale of ignorance presented by someone like 'affronted'.
'rape is not a gender issue' - what utter nonsense. women and men do get raped but to suggest that it doesn't happen most often to women and is perpetrated most often by men is, at best, disingenuous.
he then presents us with a tale that's supposed to get us onside, where a man 'for whatever reason' recorded himself raping someone. did he get consent for that do you think affronted? and do you think it's impossible that there was co-ercion involved?
finally, the figures presented are always the official ones from statutory bodies who are most often embarassed by them. what would they get out of making them up. what you should be asking is why so many cases don't get to the point of going to court not because of evidence but because of attitudes. why so many women are afraid of reporting, because of attitudes. why there are so few convictions, because of attitudes.
people like you are part of the problem and it is absolutely terrifying that you are perhaps involved in the criminal justice system.

Author: ffs, Female, glasgow
Date: 03/07/2010

Even if someone is intoxicated, he or she can make his or her desires very clear. If your partner is drunk and pushes away, doesn't seem to be receptive or particularly enjoying the act, or flat out says "NO", you stop right there. There are grey areas to be sure, but it's obvious when someone does not want to go further or does not want to have sex in the first place, no matter what state they're in.

If you're really that worried about crossing the line, just don't have sex with someone who's intoxicated.

Author: Joss, Female, USA
Date: 05/07/2010

It seems to be a feature of some individuals on this site, like ffs, to shout down anyone who has a different view to the one promoted by the site.

I note no hint of acceptance that in the example I pointed to of criticism of the woman who falsely alleged rape. If you want anyone to consider that you are coming to the debate with an open mind, then you would stop the insults and provide a balanced view. And, sorry, he should have asked for "consent" to tape record his sexual activity? Are you suggesting that he should be criticised for that? That is a truly astonishing thing to say, when the substantial blame is on a woman whose allegations could have been devastating for not only the man, but do damage to rape victims generally, by perpetuating the view that there will sometimes be false allegations. And what do you do? You dont criticise her for that, but criticise the man for tape recording his sexual activity with her. For goodness sake, take a responsible attitude.

Why is it, do you say, that I should not be involved in the criminal justice system? I care passionately about bringing criminals to justice and have done all I can to ensure that they are.

I deplore rape. The incidence of alleged rapes may be higher for women, but the issue of rape and any other sexual offence is not a gender issue. The "issue" is why are the conviction rates so low? Men and women ought to be equally concerned about that. Whether you like it or not, men have a right to comment without hearing insults fired at them, just because they dont say the same as you do.

Author: affronted, Male, edinburgh
Date: 10/07/2010

Clare wrote "Legally this is easy - a drunk person is unable to give informed consent, ever."

Indeed, this is pretty easy. But we must accept, surely, that it goes both ways and that if two drunk people have sex then neither has given informed consent and therefore each is, in principle, guilty of the same thing.

Where matters of fact in an individual case are taken into account, of course 'participants' can be seen differently. It can be quite clear that whilst two people may have been drunk, one may have used force or ignored the word 'no'... and the drunkeness of either party should be no defence to a charge.

However, the 'mere' insobriety of a victim cannot, in itself, be enough to say there has been a rape - as to say it is makes drunk sex a crime men and women.

Author: Lee, Male, UK
Date: 20/07/2010

Have your say

“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire