Drinking in moderation is the safest approach for everyone.
Drinking in moderation is the safest approach for everyone. Nicholas Falconer

Staying safe from assault should be a sobering message

IN an ideal world a drunk woman walking the streets alone at night should be at no greater risk than a woman of the same age sitting at home watching reruns of Friends in her tracky dacks .

But none of us are living in an ideal world and bad things do happen to good people.

And as a mum of young adults I really don't care about being politically correct - I believe that I have one job and that is to give my kids the best chance of living a long and happy life.

I have read the pieces by Emily Yoffe and Mia Freedman that have caused much outrage online.

And while I acknowledge they might have been trying  to spark a debate or conversation their words are very similar to the words I have used when discussing responsible behavior with my three children.

My children are 24, 19 and 17 -  and they are all out there experiencing the best of what life has to offer. I'm hoping they won't experience the worst of what can happen when you are out there in the midst of "life".

I have always talked (you could say nagged) to my kids about their responsibility to be aware of their own safety at all times.

Whether they are driving, partying with friends and strangers or at home alone they know that they should drive to the road rules, be aware of their level of impairment and lock the front door. 

That said, sexual assaults of any kind are never simple - especially if the victim and perpetrator are known to each other.  Alcohol can be one of the factors but it is never THE reason or the cause. 

I would never excuse a rapist or the perpetrator of any kind of attack on a woman or a man and I would never blame the victim.

But, and it is a big but,  I believe we have to  talk to our young peole about how they can give themselves the best chance of having a night out to remember rather than a night that will become a living nightmare.

Just like I taught them to cross the road, trust their gut instinct or use the stove they have the ultimate responsibility for their own safety.

Terrible things can still happen but they do have some power to protect themselves from danger.

Would I blame them of something terrible happened - of course not. Would I support them through it - totally.

But prevention is better than cure and if staying tipsy rather than "off your face" keeps my kids safe from sexual assault or some other form of violence then that's the line I will take rather than telling them they should be safe no matter how drunk they are.

And forget about the whole feminist argument - one of my children is a male and I give him the same advice because bad things happen to drunken males too.

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