In light of recent events involving sexual assault, public disclosures, and social media, we'd like to clarify a few things:
- Alcohol doesn’t cause sexual assault; perpetrators do. Sexual assault is never caused by the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, but by the perpetrator’s gross and wanton disregard of the victim’s autonomy and wishes. Alcohol or drugs may be used to coerce or lower inhibitions, but this in no way diminishes the culpability or the harmful effects of a perpetrator’s actions.
- Research indicates that rapists and abusers are often serial offenders. The predatory behaviors exhibited by many perpetrators of sexual violence are often not limited to a single instance or victim.
- Being publicly identified as a survivor of sexual assault can be stigmatizing. Survivors should always make the decision of whether to "go public" with identifying themselves as survivors and sharing their experiences.
Survivors of sexual assault can get help from many sources, including law enforcement, community based programs, friends, family and clergy. Post-assault medical treatment, forensic evidence collection, counseling, and other advocacy services are available to survivors with no obligation to file a police report or pursue criminal charges. In the Portland metro area, several 24-hour hotlines are available to assist survivors of sexual assault:
Sexual Assault Resource Center
Call to Safety