Look at the Facebook Page of any young adult who has officially turned 21 years of age, and you will see a note from friends encouraging them to “turn up.” The term “turn up” is popular among high school and college students and young adults. What does it mean to turn up? Be free, do what you want to do and mostly drink as much alcohol as you want. Individuals are encouraged to keep the shot glasses coming or whatever one is drinking. Lil John asks the question “Turn down for what?” According to the song, there is no reason to turn down or stop drinking. He encourages them to continue to let the shots keep on coming.
Times really have not changed because I remember the drinking games played when I was in college. I am thankful that my bestie in college could not handle even one drink of alcohol before she would get sick to her stomach and we would have to leave the party. I wasn’t so happy at the time but she kept us out of a lot of trouble. Even though drinking trends among college students have not really changed over the years, there is a new twist that could put your daughter at risk for a very dangerous situation. Based on a recent article in the Journal of Adolescent Health regarding rape of college women, I can think of several reasons why our daughters should be turning down instead of up. The study indicates that at a large private university in New York, almost one out of every five young women were raped or experienced attempted rape during their freshman year.
Researchers at Brown and Miriam Hospitals Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine administered questionnaires to 483 incoming freshmen when they arrived on campus and at the end of their freshman year. The freshman women were asked if they had experienced either incapacitated or forced rape, regardless of whether the act had been attempted or completed. 15% of the women said they were raped or a victim of attempted rape while they were incapacitated. How were they incapacitated?
Drug facilitated sexual assault occurs when alcohol or drugs are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. These substances make it easier for a perpetrator to commit sexual assault because they inhibit a person’s ability to resist and can sometimes prevent them from remembering the assault. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in drug facilitated sexual assault, and some may use prescription medicine like sleep aids and muscle relaxers.
After the attack, a woman will awaken and are not quite sure what has happened to them because they can’t remember. Victims of drug facilitated or incapacitated rape were somewhat less likely to report to the authorities than victims of forcible rape. Most often, the victims may not report the attack because they don’t want to confess the excessive alcohol consumption or they blame themselves for the attack or for putting themselves in a situation where it could happen.
How can we protect our daughters from sexual violence as a result of drinking? Here are five conversations must haves to educate them on the dangers involved.
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach