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I was raped, I think, and I have a hard time not blaming myself


Schmendrick

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Hello, all, at enotalone.com. You guys are a constant source of positivism and love that I have come to really depend on.

 

I have a hard time talking to people in my real life about this situation, so I am turning here.

 

A little more than a year ago, I was out with a friend at a bar. I had a pretty bad drinking problem at the time, so I was pretty drunk when a "friend" approached me by way of a free shot in a place I trusted. When I went to talk to/thank this person (a bartender at a joint I used to frequent) to thank him for the shot, I started talking to him and the friend I was with was tired and left me alone with someone I thought I trusted.

 

I talked to this guy, and he invited me to the bar that his father owned for a "nightcap." I was excited by the prospect--after all, it was after legal closing hours for the bar, and I'd be there when it was technically "closed" and would be receiving my drink for free!--and because I trusted the bar itself, as well as the guy, I followed him there.

 

While there, he told me to make our drinks myself, so I made us a very strong drink containing about six shots. I drank it along with him, and then, I don't remember very much.

 

What I do remember is him and me alone, in the back room of the bar, with all the chairs on the tables. He was on top of me, having sex with me.

 

I remember being uncomfortable, but don't have much recollection of how I got in that position, nor am I one prone to these types of situations. I had only had about seven partners before him, and all had been in either committed relationships, or had been people whom I really cared about. It had never been a relative stranger before. I am also not sure whether there was video footage of the two of us, since I am unfamiliar with the bar's setup. I do know that he was in the "dominate" position on top of me, and that, during the few moments that I was cognizant of what was happening, I was uncomfortable, but I don't know if I ever voiced that discomfort. I DO know that I was not in a state to so much as walk, much less could I have undressed myself and given consent to what was happening, so he had to have led me there.

 

I woke up alone, maybe an hour after everything had started, and pulled on my pants, underwear, and jacket (my bra and shirt went missing). I called out to the guy, and he answered me from the bathroom--I told him I was leaving. I remember being scared, even in my disoriented state, and thinking that I needed to get out of there immediately.

 

Of course, I was in no state to drive, and I got in the car and "drove" home. On the way, I sideswiped a median, and I got a flat tire. Again, in my disoriented state, I decided I needed to go to the gas station to fill up the tire.

 

I got to the gas station, and the tire was in shreds by then. I wandered around the store until the manager called the police, and I got apprehended and charged with a DUI. I spent the night in jail.

 

Since then, I've gone into crisis management mode with my offence, and I have just been taking everything one step at a time in terms of my conviction. It never entered my head to deal with my rape until after everything else was taken care of, and my lawyer advised me to leave the rape out of the courtroom because it would not have helped my case. Charges have never been filed against my assailant, and I am to this day unsure of whether or not it actually WAS rape, considering I was really drunk off something I made myself and also, really good natured when I was in jail and still under the influence (I even told the magistrate that I was hanging out with "a cute guy"). I DO know he was more sober than I was (he was able to get us both in the back room AND undressed), and he must have known I was hammered and unable to give my consent.

 

Since that time, I have entered a committed, loving relationship with an amazing guy. I still have trust issues with men, but he has been really supportive and reassuring, and has dealt with my occasional trust issued and my insecurities in stride and with love. I am so blessed to have him.

 

My issue is mostly with myself. What do I blame myself for? What should be my fault? My instinct tells me the fault is entirely mine, and I am having a hard time moving past that.

 

I don't know if it is fair to blame myself completely, though, and am in need of some perspective.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Since the situation occurred, I have actually seen this guy several times in person (I live in a small town). I have avoided/ignored him, but he has actually come up to me several times and talked to my friend and I. I react coldly, while he acts as though nothing happened. I have paid over $10,000 in court costs and fees alone, and he is scotch free. It doesn't seem fair. What do you guys think? Please help me......

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(1) You were raped. In most states in the US, the laws are written to protect you in this sort of situation. A case in Pennsylvania in 1995 created an occasion for laws there to be changed as well.

(2) The money you had to spend due to the DUI is on you, not him. Might he have taken care of you? Yes, a friend would have. He didn't. But as you know, you willingly made yourself drunk, and drove, so the $10K is on you.

(3) You are not alone, not by a long shot.

 

You have changed your own behavior, which is important, because changing ourselves is really the only thing we can control. If you discover anger at yourself, him, others, deal with it so it doesn't come to define you. What and/or whether you choose to do anything about adjudicating the rape, I can't advise you. You were raped, yes. Whether you want to charge it, pursue it, I don't know and I can't judge the value of that for you. But yes, yes, yes you were. I am so very sorry. Good for you for doing what is good for you since then, healing and finding ways to take charge of yourself. That is the most important thing.

 

You are not alone. When you walk around, the women passing you have been through the same thing. We don't wear a little marker telling you which of us we are, but its a lot of us, well more than is reported.

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I'm sorry for what you went through. Don't blame yourself. Maybe it's time to try counselling or a victim support group? You were in a vulnerable position and he took advantage. That's on him.

 

As for the DUI that is on you. You made a choice to get in that car. You could have called a cab. If you'd killed yourself or some innocent family that night....it's just never worth doing.

 

Are you seeking help for your drinking problems too AA etc??

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Charges have never been filed against my assailant, and I am to this day unsure of whether or not it actually WAS rape, considering I was really drunk off something I made myself and also, really good natured when I was in jail and still under the influence (I even told the magistrate that I was hanging out with "a cute guy"). I DO know he was more sober than I was (he was able to get us both in the back room AND undressed), and he must have known I was hammered and unable to give my consent.

 

OP, I'm so sorry this happened to you. It was rape because you were too drunk to consent.

 

However, as painful as this may be to hear, with alcohol involved this is the kind of rape that least likely to result in a conviction in court. When you were arrested they took your blood alcohol level which is good because there is a record. But there was no record of his. In court his lawyer would have to raise reasonable doubt. He could argue his client had the same amount of alcohol and believed it was consensual at the time.

 

Since the situation occurred, I have actually seen this guy several times in person (I live in a small town). I have avoided/ignored him, but he has actually come up to me several times and talked to my friend and I. I react coldly, while he acts as though nothing happened.

 

Either he is a sociopath or he believes he has done nothing wrong. Honestly, it sounds like the latter as incredibly as that may seem.. You both drank heavy drinks at the bar, but you were affected more as a woman. He may not have known that at the time and if you were flirting it progressed to what he may see as a drunken hook up. Not a planned attack where he purposely plied you with drinks all night, got you alone, and waited for you to pass out.

 

That said, it's entirely possible that once you passed out he then escalated and took advantage of you. Still, there's a possibility that while you were black out drunk you were still "awake" but your memory is gone. There are so many scenarios that could have happened here. The frustrating thing is you don't know and that you feel violated. His behavior post-rape suggests either he is purposely taunting you or he recalls events differently.

 

Since you live in a small town, do you have any friends you trust who knows him? Maybe it's worth it to have them speak to him about this, to clue him in that you have bad feelings about that night and see what he reveals. "M was pretty wasted and has gaps in memory of that night. She wasn't in any state to drive and she wasn't in any shape to hook up with someone."

 

I agree with other posters that seeking a rape survivors support group may be helpful. It was not your fault. Getting drunk doesn't give someone else the right to have sex with you. Don't ever doubt it was rape.

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>>I was in jail and still under the influence (I even told the magistrate that I was hanging out with "a cute guy"). I DO know he was more sober than I was (he was able to get us both in the back room AND undressed), and he must have known I was hammered and unable to give my consent.

 

OK, therein lies your problem... Drunk people have consensual sex all the time, and the real issue here is that you had a blackout and you aren't really sure whether you consented or not, and might well have consented during a blackout which people can and do do.

 

So as to whose 'fault' it is, as the lawyer is aware, this whole incident would be very hard to prove in court, and you may well have consented when super drunk (many people do consent when they have their 'drunk goggles' on) and you have you telling the officer about a 'cute guy' as if you were happily on a date with him.

 

But this is a real learning experience for you... you should not drink if you are prone to blackout drinking and do things like take shots that are 6 drinks at once because it does put you in a very vulnerable position and you need to be wary of that and protect yourself. As to whether this was rape or not, no one can know, even yourself, because you were intoxicated to the point that there are some signs that you gave consent, and some signs that you didn't. But it is a VERY clear sign that you need to stop drinking entirely, and not put yourself in harm's way in future.

 

I think based on your lawyer telling you not to bring it up, that should tell you that legally you have a very weak case. Morally, the guy should have probably not had sex with you, but you don't know whether you gave consent or not. So i think it best if you feel you were raped to get some cousneling to deal with the emotional fallout from this, but you also take responsibility/accountability for your drinking and get yourself into a program and stop drinking entirely.

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If It was clear to him that she was too drunk to give consent, as it seems would have been obvious, then it was rape. Whether it is prosecutable, we don't know.

 

At the time, he may have been too drunk to care that he was taking advantage of your drunken state. It is still rape.

 

When we drink too much, we put ourselves at risk of being both perpetrator and victim. Its good you have changed your risky behavior. If he were writing, I would say the same to him.

 

There are ways to process this so that you can forgive yourself and him, if your want. But you might want to tell him off, and that's good too. Get some help figuring that out.

 

If you walk down the street holding money in your hand, too drunk to protect it, and someone takes it, its still stealing. And this was still rape. The most frequent kind of rape is this kind, where we know one another. The random kind- less frequent, thank goodness.

 

You have changed your behavior. Now you need to process.

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(3) You are not alone, not by a long shot.

 

You were raped, yes. Whether you want to charge it, pursue it, I don't know and I can't judge the value of that for you. But yes, yes, yes you were.

 

IThinkICan, THANK YOU. I think I just needed to hear that. The situation was so blurry and confusing, I think I just needed to hear it from one other person before I could begin to grieve and process it.

 

It's odd, but because it was so ill-defined (and because I have been so busy dealing with my alcoholism--I'm better now!!!--and my court conviction), I have been almost numb to the incident. I didn't feel anything at all. It's always been in the back of my mind, though, lurking, waiting. Last night, I saw a documentary about rape in the military, and I started to really begin to think about it....

 

That last sentence you wrote to me brought me to wracking sobs. I needed that, needed to cry. That was the first step, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My sincerest gratitude and appreciation goes out to you. I can't even thank you enough.

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Have you told anyone about this?

 

agent, I have told my mom and my boyfriend, as well as my AA-affiliated peer group, close friends, and coworkers. I have actually made it a point to tell as many people as I can--in a way, it makes it lose its power to me, or something. I also wanted people to know that I had a breathalyzer for a different reason than most people--I was trying to escape a situation. Only my mom and my boyfriend know all the gory details, and they have been really supportive.

 

I know I shouldn't have driven, but I was scared, not thinking clearly, and my phone was dead. Not an excuse, just a reason... I know I could have died or killed someone, and for that, too, I feel terrible.

 

Thanks for the advice. I've found a group in my area that I'd like to reach out to, once I get my license back in a month.

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As for the DUI that is on you. You made a choice to get in that car. You could have called a cab. If you'd killed yourself or some innocent family that night....it's just never worth doing.

 

I know that I shouldn't have driven, but I was scared, not in my right mind, and my phone was dead. I even soiled myself in the car seat, I was so out of it I had read later that this was a side effect of being drugged, so I have often wondered if he didn't slip me something...

 

I did the AA thing for three months, and that part is better, thankfully. I have to live with the guilt of having driven that car for the rest of my life, even though everyone was okay.

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Since you live in a small town, do you have any friends you trust who knows him? Maybe it's worth it to have them speak to him about this, to clue him in that you have bad feelings about that night and see what he reveals. "M was pretty wasted and has gaps in memory of that night. She wasn't in any state to drive and she wasn't in any shape to hook up with someone."

 

I agree with other posters that seeking a rape survivors support group may be helpful. It was not your fault. Getting drunk doesn't give someone else the right to have sex with you. Don't ever doubt it was rape.

 

Iggles, I DO know some sort-of mutual friends, but unfortunately (actually, more like FORTUNATELY) I do not associate with them anymore. The reason is that they came from a lifestyle of binge drinking, partying, and debauchery--a lifestyle I am no longer a part of. I told the girl I was closest to at the time that also knows him, and she used to actually think it was FUNNY when he tried to come up to us and engage very enthusiastically in conversation with us. She was NOT very supportive, and pretty much indicated that it had happened to her many times and was no big deal. That's one of the reasons I had such a hard time believing it was rape for so long... despite that my mom and boyfriend insisted it was.

 

I'd like to eventually be able to confront him in some way or other. Maybe a facebook message or something? Maybe just talking in person while he is on a smoke break at work? I want for him to be able to fill in the details. That would help me move on, I think.

 

Thank you for reassuring me that it was rape. Admitting that it was is the first step for me to deal with this emotionally.

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I was in a similar situation once when I was 18. I was a virgin and wanted to wait for the right guy. I did NOT want my first time to be awful but it was.

 

I went out with friends, got drunk and a lad I went to school with introduced me to his sober friend who was driving. He kissed me and offered to drop me home..

 

Up until that point any guy I had ever met out or went on a date with had been a gentlemen. Nobody had ever been forward with me apart from one ex who I trusted and had done everything with a part from sex.. so me being so naive and stupid-I got in his car thinking he would just drop me off and ask for my number.

 

He was kissing me and kept trying to pull me closer but I was not moving. I glued myself to the seat and I thought my body language was making it pretty obvious I wasn't interested but instead of taking a hint, he climbed on me and took off my underwear.

 

I froze, I honestly didn't know how to handle it until it was too late and we were already having sex.

 

I then pushed him away and said stop and he did so I didn't see it as rape but I do feel he took advantage and ruined my first time.

 

He was totally sober so I do think he is just a complete sleaze bag. No genuine guy would come onto a drunk stranger like that!

 

In your case-I don't know how drunk he was. I think you should have confronted him and asked what happened. I know not an easy thing to do but it might help you.

 

You should also consider seeing a counselor if its still affecting you. In my case-I wasn't traumatized by it-just angry and I got over it. I didn't feel like I was raped so it didn't affect me. I just regretted it and thought it was my fault for putting myself in that situation. But I don't blame myself now and I am kinda glad it happened coz it thought me to be more wary and cautious and not to trust strange men-ever.

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OP So glad I happened upon something that helped you. I am excited to read that you told your mom. When it happened to me, I didn't tell anyone. I snuck back in the house at dawn, my clothes a wrinkled mess, and went to bed. A year later I told my college roommate and she helped me b$tch him out over the phone. that was all I needed. I also drank alot for a time, and I don't know if it was just part of a bigger anxiety I was trying to deny or what. But it just kind of slowly wore away.

 

Like you, talking makes it less powerful to me. Like, yeah whatever. It happened. It happens alot. Hear my story. Understand this is reality. Until we teach our young men -- many of whom don't want to do this when sober -- what they might do when being drunk, and humanize it for them, then we are only telling half the story. So I tell it, thinking that it helps continue the thread of learning in some way.

 

My fabulous ex bf went on to do $20K of damage to his college dorm and got kicked out. That made me feel good, to know he was genuinely an angry messed up guy in a way that I wouldn't have guessed. Your ex-friends are so detached they don't feel anything anymore. No self respect or respect for others or even the human condition. I am glad you made the changes you have described.

 

Onward, OP. You are walking a fabulous path.

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>>

But this is a real learning experience for you... you should not drink if you are prone to blackout drinking and do things like take shots that are 6 drinks at once because it does put you in a very vulnerable position and you need to be wary of that and protect yourself. As to whether this was rape or not, no one can know, even yourself, because you were intoxicated to the point that there are some signs that you gave consent, and some signs that you didn't. But it is a VERY clear sign that you need to stop drinking entirely, and not put yourself in harm's way in future.

 

First of all, I thank you for taking the time to respond.

 

Your first sentence above sounds suspiciously like the blame-the-victim type of mentality. If you don't mind me asking, are you male? Your lack of sympathy and understanding of my situation makes it seem as though you are.

 

It has become clear to me, after the reassurance of everyone on here and my own thoughts, that I WAS raped. I also found this on the YWCA rape counseling website that further corroborates my stance:

 

"A behavior is sexually violent if consent has not been given. Consent is permission that is intelligently and freely given. This means that if someone is being threatened or intimidated, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is underage, that person cannot consent to sexual activity."

 

I appreciate your counseling me on my alcoholism, but again, you make it sound as though that was my only "problem" here, when I came here to talk about the sexual abuse, NOT my alcoholic consumption. After all, the one trumps the other, don't you think? I also mentioned in my original post that I have escaped alcohol. I've sought counseling for my substance addiction and have successfully completed over four months of weekly and biweekly AA meetings and group therapy sessions. Again, I'm not here to talk about that.

 

I did want to educate you to the definition of "rape" as defined by every source I've seen since. Spreading the word is important, so that incidents such as the one above do NOT get repeated. Alcohol is apparently the #1 date rape drug, I found out. Please do not blame the victim here--for the first time, I am realizing that I AM the victim of sexual assault, and it was NOT my fault that I was assaulted, thought it WAS my fault for driving away--and I have already paid dearly for it. It's comments and attitudes like yours that are the anti-progress when it comes to situations such as these. It alarms me that people still think this way, to be honest.

 

Also, you seem to be very intent on this whole prosecution thing. I am not concerned with prosecution. The incident happened over a year ago. I am concerned right now with understanding what happened to me, with processing my emotions and feelings, and with releasing some of the guilt and blame I put upon myself for entirely too long. I was blaming myself for EVERYTHING that happened, and it's not productive, nor can I do that anymore. I need to move on, not press charges.

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I am very sorry you went through this.

The only thing I can tell you is that because you had a black out no one can tell you if it was rape or not. I had two black outs in my life because of alcohol, and both times I was active and having fun, but I have no memory of it.

As I see it personally - it wasn't rape, at least not all the way. He may have taken advantage of you, being a tiniest bit less drunk then you were, but it is possible you were participating in it just as much as he did.

I wish you all the best, stop feeling guilty for something you have no memory of.

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Lavenderdove is just being honestly blunt. That's the easiest way I can say it. Yes, you woke up to being raped, but what she says is true: you have no idea what the conditions were like when you went into it - for all we know, you may have even removed your clothes yourself.

 

The main point here in my mind, is that you got raped as a result of your drunken condition that you partially induced yourself - 6 shots worth after a long night? Yes, if you share that much with a drunk guy you only kind of know after a long night, who you're going to stay with for a couple hours more, chances are very high that sex will happen.

 

I realize that we are a society that cringes at the thought of "maybe the victim is responsible for her predicament," but in this case, you put yourself in that position. Some of us have our innocence stripped at a younger age and never put ourselves in situations like this because we've seen it, while others lust for it because it turns them on. You went through that stage where you were naïve to the realities and played with fire, resulting in, well, bad situations.

 

It is ok to feel guilty, but I would not dwell on the guilt; consider it a lesson learned and the worst that came of it was a DUI. Hopefully this will remind you why you should not drink so much, why it's important to watch out for those people around you who do and how you might talk to your children [if you ever have them] as they get older so they don't end up in similar situations.

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>>Your first sentence above sounds suspiciously like the blame-the-victim type of mentality. If you don't mind me asking, are you male?

 

Actually I am female. And I am not 'blaming' you, I am saying that you should probably listen to your lawyer here because the circumstances were such that you (a) willingly went to his place (b) mixed yourself a very strong drink © don't report any violence, just that you blacked out and woke up in the middle of sex, which is a common occurrence when drinking that much and (d) you readily admitted to the officer in question that you were with a 'cute guy' implying it was a fun time. So given these particular circumstances, it is not clear whether you consented or not due to the factors involved. People in the midst of blackouts do all kinds of things, from consenting to sex, to driving a car, to bringing strangers home and into their beds and having no clue who/why they are there etc. So there is genuinely no way of knowing whether you consented or not if you have no recollection of it, and especially when AT THE TIME you are happily telling the officer at the police station you were out with a cute guy.

 

If those factors come out during the course of the DUI, and you try to allege you were raped, the court would look VERY unfavorably on that and frankly not believe you thinking it was nothing but a sympathy ploy and attempt to get out of the DUI. That is why your lawyer is advising you to not triangulate a 'rape' defense when you happily told the officer you were out with a cute guy, then suddenly when you sober up you allege it is a rape. So this is a credibility issue.

 

The relevant things here are that if you feel you are raped, you should get some form of treatment for this. And whether you gave consent or not will never be known unless this rape was gotten on film. And yes, you do need to assume responsibility for the drinking that contributed to this, and take steps to acknowledge that if you hadn't been drinking so excessively, this wouldn't have happened, and take steps to protect yourself in future by taking accountability for your alcoholism and the damage it can do you.

 

The reality is that every drunken sexual encounter is NOT rape just because the parties are drinking heavily, and if you are drinking to such excess that you black out and while drunk cast the encounter as fun, then turn around and cast it as a rape when sober, you don't have much legal standing to prosecute a rape. You also need to be very careful not to falsely accuse someone of rape when you did give consent and just don't remember it because you were too plastered at the time. The best way to protect yourself in future is to keep your wits about you at all times, and get the drinking under control.

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The reality is that every drunken sexual encounter is NOT rape just because the parties are drinking heavily,

 

There are shades of gray here. If you have an existing romantic relationship with someone and drunkenly engage in sex, I would not call that rape.

 

However, if you're with a stranger and blackout drunk it's not just regretful sex. You're too drunk to consent and you have no prior relationship with this person to infer that if you were sober you'd be doing the same thing. If you cannot establish consent, it's rape.

 

Generally, rape is defined as sexual contact or penetration achieved:

without consent, or

with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or

when the victim is:

- mentally incapacitated or impaired,

- physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption)

Source: link removed

 

and if you are drinking to such excess that you black out and while drunk cast the encounter as fun, then turn around and cast it as a rape when sober, you don't have much legal standing to prosecute a rape.

 

Agreed! When alcohol is involved and you cannot remember the events leading up to sex it becomes "he said/she said" which is impossible to prove what happened beyond of shred of doubt in court. Unless there is video, there is no way to know if force was used.

 

You also need to be very careful not to falsely accuse someone of rape when you did give consent and just don't remember it because you were too plastered at the time. The best way to protect yourself in future is to keep your wits about you at all times, and get the drinking under control.

 

Yep. This is great advice.

 

It's too late to prevent what happened to the OP, but going forward she can avoid being preyed on in the future.

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I think it helps to acknowledge that the OP took full responsibility for the drinking piece including change of friends and weekly meetings.

 

There is case law wherein the man admitted that he knew she could not responsibly consent, but since she let him, he just continued. In some cases, laws were changed so that this could be defined as rape even though the woman did not fight back. All that has to be established is that he knew she was to drunk to give consent.

 

From a legal perspective, this is a very state-specific question. We weren't asked or opinion of the OPs ability to prosecute.

 

Sometimes, our first act of self respect is acknowledging that someone else transgressed it. That's all we've been asked to address; the rest, the OP has adressed on her own.

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Agreed! When alcohol is involved and you cannot remember the events leading up to sex it becomes "he said/she said" which is impossible to prove what happened beyond of shred of doubt in court. Unless there is video, there is no way to know if force was used..

Also, what people seem to forget is that HEwas equally drunk (maybe not to blackout point), drunk enough to "not remember what happened, or how it happened, or if there was consent or not". It will be impossible to prove it was rape and comes down to "he said/she said".

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Before I read your story, let me just say this really loud and clear for you and everybody out there.

 

Don't blame yourself for rape. It's absolutely NOT your fault that you were rape because you didn't do anything that set a person off from raping you. A rapist is responsible for rape. Nobody but the rapist is responsible.

 

ok

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Before I read your story, let me just say this really loud and clear for you and everybody out there.

 

Don't blame yourself for rape. It's absolutely NOT your fault that you were rape because you didn't do anything that set a person off from raping you. A rapist is responsible for rape. Nobody but the rapist is responsible.

 

ok

 

It is not the hen's fault the fox eats her, but when the hen jumps the fence and stays out after dark, well, is it the fox's fault she was out?

 

If you are out with guys and you are super drunk, and they are super drunk, you have a 99% chance you will get laid, even if you didn't plan on getting laid, especially if you're coming on to them. Espeically if it is in their culture to have sex with super drunk girls, which appears to be the case.

 

No matter how much the people around you do to protect you, in the end you are the only person responsible for your personal safety - hence why it's so dangerous to be super drunk - at that point, you are no longer capable of protecting yourself.

 

I for one feel the black and white all or none absolution of responsibility helps no one, if anything it only leads to individuals blaming the world around them for what happens to them.

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