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By James Boyce She’s standing at the bar, wearing a short black dress with long black hair flowing down her front, chatting away merrily while sipping on something intoxicating. She’s dripping sex, and flashing her eyes at you and every other guy around. You know the two girls she’s standing with and as you approach them, you notice quickly that she’s drunk as a skunk, as are your other friends. You chat mildly, as best you can, before they announce they’re finished and are ready to leave. You, naturally, offer them a lift in your car and slyly manage to finagle the attractive girl into the front passenger seat and your friends in the back.

You know where they live so you head there first and quickly drop them off. This beauty lives on the other side of town and she’s fiddling with her keys, pulling at her dress, and letting you see all sorts of…. things, while mumbling about not being able to pickup. You see your opportunity, take her by the hand out of the car but have to almost carry her to her bed. She’s not exactly into it, but you know she’ll enjoy it. She’s a bit resistant but she said she wanted it. She’s not putting up a fight or saying no so you go for it! You do it! You do the deed and she seems sated, lying there in bed, relaxing.

You put your pants on, kiss her on the cheek and leave your number beside your bed. The next day, there’s a knock on the door and 2 police officers are standing there to talk to you. You protest that you have to go to class, but they insist.

You guessed it! You raped her.

Rape is a strange concept that is very misunderstood in our society, and there’s a nasty stigma that goes along with it. Unfortunately, this stigma is on the wrong side.

The basic rule of thumb with rape is simple: No means no. That’s the generic, simplified way to think about it. If your partner says no, at any stage, in any way, then that is rape. Men and women!

Yeah, but if your partner’s drunk, then its different – she wants it but she’s not able to say so or do much? Not true. Intoxication is not an excuse; in fact it works against you. Taking advantage of someone while intoxicated is sexual assault, often called ‘incapacitated assault’ and is counted not just as a sexual crime, but a violent crime. That means that the minimum penalty is maximum-security jail… where you don’t want to drop the soap.

The important factor here, however, is that this girl did what she should do; she reported it. She spoke out and she should have been celebrated for it. When something bad happens to you, you tell someone and in the case of unwanted sexual contact, that is the most important thing.

If you have been a victim of unwanted sexual attention or interaction, it’s a crime. This guy has thrown his life away. When convicted, he will most likely be put on a sex-crimes list and will be very restricted about what work he can get. The university will probably kick him out, and any dreams of being a teacher, doctor or most other prestigious careers are gone.

Think. Ask.

James is about to finish a Bachelor of Arts before starting a Master of Teaching. He enjoys exploring as many new things as possible. 

 

If you have been a victim of a sexual crime – please contact:

NATIONAL: Ambulance: 000 or 131 233 Police: 000 Lifeline (24 hrs): 131 114 Suicide Prevention & Crisis Intervention (24 hrs): 1300 363 622 Kids Help Line (if under 25 years old): 1800 55 1800 or online http://www.kidshelp.com.au Salvo Crisis Line (suicide prevention): (02) 9331 2000 Salvo Care Line: (02) 9331 6000 Grief Support (24 hrs): (02) 9489 6644 or 1800 642 066 Alcohol and Drug Information Service (24 hrs): (02) 9361 8000 Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 656 463 National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732 or 1800 RESPECT

NSW: NSW Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 424 017 NSW Mental Health Line 24 hr service 1800 011 511

ARMIDALE: Police Station (02) 6771 0699 UNE Safety and Security: (02) 6773 2099 Armidale Sexual Assault Service: (02) 6776 9655 (BH) (02) 6776 9500 (AH) Armidale Hospital 24 hr Accident and Emergency: (02) 6776 9622

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