My male friend took advantage of me when I was drunk- is it my fault?

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  • Kate
    February 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm #833235

    That book I mentioned has chapters devoted to college parties and nights out, about how to protect yourself. Common sense stuff like buying your own drinks and how to avoid getting drugged. It’s part of self defense.

    February 21, 2019 at 1:38 pm #833237

    Well I for one have have never been stumbling drunk much less black out drunk. Most I ever did was tipsy. If you put yourself in bad situations sooner or later something bad is going to happen. And people die of alcohol poisoning. The idea is to decrease your chance of getting hurt. You can do everything right and still have horrible things happen to you. Why increase your risk?

    February 21, 2019 at 1:39 pm #833238

    I think that everyone has been careful to emphasize that she isn’t at fault and was victimized. But if I drank myself unconscious in an alleyway and someone took my wallet, people would tell me not to do that again. Even though I am absolutely the victim and gave an absolute right to my personal property.

    February 21, 2019 at 1:40 pm #833239

    It does sound like there are two separate issues that only seem to be related.

    The first is the assault. It seems quite clear from both what other people have told you about he was behaving beforehand and his reaction after the fact that he deliberately took advantage of your vulnerable state, and he’s not at all sorry about what happened. Its pretty clearly sexual assault, and I’m so so sorry this happened to you. Do what you need to take care of yourself. Maybe that’s reporting him to the authorities, maybe it’s just severing all contact and going to counseling. I’m not sure, that’s really your journey to go on.

    The second, unrelated issue is your drinking habits. You sound pretty young, and lots of people your age regularly binge drink and stop doing that as they get older and they don’t have problems with alcohol once they get out of that college-party atmosphere, but some kids do. You should take a good hard look at your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol and assess whether this is just the stage of life your in, or if your relationship with alcohol is problematic. And even if you don’t have a long term drinking problem, binge drinking on its own can be dangerous. So, definitely reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.

    But again, your relationship with alcohol or how drunk you were has no bearing on whether or not this guy sexually assaulted your nor does it make you somewhat responsible for what happened. He clearly saw you were inebriated and took advantage of that, and doesn’t really seem to be showing any remorse.

    Also – this may not be the time to push on this, but what does your boyfriend mean by “he’s been in situations like this before?” Whose shoes has he been in, yours or your friend’s? Not saying he’s a rapist, but uh, I might follow-up on that eventually.

    February 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm #833240

    Oracle and Fyodor — I agree 100%. Just saying, generally in the past that comment has been scorned as ‘blaming the victim’. It is, of course, excellent advice, because while a court will hopefully jail your assailant for rape, it can’t un-rape you.

    February 21, 2019 at 1:46 pm #833241

    The thing is, drinking to excess IS related to bad shit that can happen to you. It dulls your instincts and mutes your intuition. And if you get drugged, you can’t give law enforcement the information they need to do anything, because you won’t know what happened. We know there are predators out there who will try to take advantage if they can. Their actions are totally on them. Only they are to blame. But if we’re in control of ourselves and aware of what’s going on, we have the power to avoid being a soft target and getting into an unsafe situation.

    February 21, 2019 at 1:59 pm #833242

    She went out with what she thought was a group of friends who she stayed with until she went to her own home. She drank too much with her friends who were traveling with her, buying, and drinking along side of her.

    Because she got so inebriated, she can’t trust her own account. I think her former friend was very intentional in waiting until her defenses were down. Thank goodness he didn’t choose to rape her.

    “I told him that I feel that he took advantage of me, and he told me that I’d said that the night before too, indicating that he just did not care. I then told him that I thought that we shouldn’t be friends anymore, and all he responded with was ‘ok’

    LW, He was cognizant enough to remember you black-out drunk telling him you felt he was taking advantage of you. It’s difficult to admit to a group that you drank to excess (to the point you had trouble piecing together what happened). But the amount you imbibed didn’t result in YOU driving drunk, hurting someone, stealing, cheating, or otherwise behaving in a way that hurt others, their property, or their home. This guy isn’t trustworthy and I’m sorry you feel disgusted and violated.

    You can think about the consequences of excessive drinking in terms of self-care and personal security and comfort in the future but this person behaved like an asshole.

    You can’t control what he says or does but you can tell mutual acquaintances about his overtures and how shitty it made you feel the next day. You can’t control how other people react but you are perfectly justified in insisting that your mutual friends respect that you don’t like him, you felt violated, and he’s not allowed to come around you, anymore.

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    February 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm #833243

    Drinking to excess is certainly related to bad shit happening. In no way is it helpful to point that out to someone who was assaulted in her own home by someone she thought was a friend. Lecturing women to always be on guard reinforces that it’s our job not to get assaulted. If people spent half as much time on what equals consent the LW wouldn’t be wondering if she cheated on her boyfriend. It’s really fucking sad.

    February 21, 2019 at 2:37 pm #833244

    “Lecturing women to always be on guard reinforces that it’s our job not to get assaulted.”

    Not true. This is why there are self-defense classes and books about honing your intuition and using it to protect yourself. Because the world is a dangerous place and we need to acknowledge that. We need to be in control of ourselves and aware of what’s going on.

    To your last point, yes, of course. But they don’t. So the reality is women need to protect themselves.

    February 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm #833245

    Or at least, do what they can to protect themselves.

    February 21, 2019 at 2:42 pm #833248

    I always struggle when it comes to talking about alcohol and sexual assault.

    On the one hand, it’s never someone’s fault if they are assaulted, and in this particular case it seems quite clear that he was pretty deliberate here; this isn’t one of those messy grey cases where both parties were blacked out.

    At the same time, I feel like telling women there’s nothing they could’ve done robs them of agency, and makes it sound like we are floating along powerless to what the world wants to do to us.

    A lot of people will say, well you wouldn’t have told someone who had their house broken into that its their fault. Which is true; but we tell people all the time to take precautions to protect themselves from theft by doing things like locking your doors, making sure your windows are secure, installing security systems.

    People are going to be shitty and its not your fault if your house is robbed, or if you are sexually assaulted, but we can do things to empower ourselves to try to head off shitty stuff.

    Not doing so doesn’t mean we are more at fault, nor does taking precautions guarantee we won’t ever be victimized.

    February 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm #833249

    @JulieCatherine is on point here. The letter writer doesn’t need to be lectured about her drinking here. She needs to be assured that her feelings of violation are warranted and that this wasn’t her fault. The only person at fault here is her shitheel friend, who probably doesn’t even think he did anything wrong.

    The writer didn’t ask “Do I have a drinking problem?”. This guy saw she was vulnerable, saw the opportunity to feed her shots, made a lame excuse to spend the night and unquestionably took advantage.

    The letter writer mentions nothing about her drinking habits besides this incident and many people here are ABSOLUTELY telling her this is her fault. And it’s a load of Grade-A. B.S.

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My male friend took advantage of me when I was drunk- is it my fault?

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