To coincide with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s priority for September 2014. Suffolk Constabulary wants to raise the profile of serious sexual offences with a Time to Stop poster campaign which focuses on offenders and their behaviour and impact.
Alcohol is often involved in cases of rape, and is one of the most commonly cited factors in attempts to explain or excuse it. However, although alcohol consumption is something in which anyone over 18 is free to indulge, in the public discourse around rape and sexual assault, its significance is something that plays out very differently for women than it does for men. Alcohol is seen both as something that greatly increases the vulnerability of women not only to rape, but also, perversely, to accusations of blame for that rape. Although it is men who perpetrate rape, it is women who are urged to modify their behaviour by abstaining or drinking less, and thus accommodate the danger posed by predatory men.
Alcohol is used by men who rape both as a means of incapacitating the women they assault, and also as an excuse for their own behaviour. It is deeply ingrained in our culture that this is the natural order of things – that women are prey and therefore obliged to behave in a way that can prevent or avoid harassment and assault. The result of this is that behaviour which genuinely is problematic (to the extent that it is criminal) – the willingness of so many men to target and exploit women who are drunk, or use alcohol as an excuse for assaulting them – is never challenged or even addressed.
Suffolk Police investigates every single report of rape. Responsibility for rape will always lie with the rapist.
Working in partnership to keep the people of Suffolk safe