Victims' advocate suggests women take turns drinking at parties as new data shows 1 in 3 are sexually assaulted

A victims' advocate has suggested women should take turns drinking at parties to keep themselves safe after new statistics showed one in three women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. 

It comes after a Ministry of Justice survey revealed nearly 30 percent of adults were victims of crime in the last year. It also found in more than half of reported sexual assaults the perpetrator was known to the victim. Thirty percent of sexual assaults took place in a business, 10 percent in public and half in residential properties. 

The survey compared data from 2018 to 2020 with 7425 Kiwis over the age of 15 participating. 

It showed 12 percent of men and 35 percent of women had experienced sexual assault in their lifetime.

Victims' advocate Ruth Money told The AM Show on Wednesday parents need to educate their children about consent.

"What are fathers and mothers doing to teach their kids appropriate behaviour? You know, kids are watching porn - they're going to watch porn, it's free [so] educate them about that's not a normalised situation.

"Teach them [sons] explicit consent -  just because you didn't get a no didn't mean yes. Did you get a yes? That's what we should be teaching." 

However, she went on to suggest women should take steps to keep themselves safe such as drinking in pairs. 

"There are basic things like as a female don't go to a party and both get drunk at the same time, you know it's your turn today Ruth, it's my turn the next day Holly. Have a plan [because] most of this offending contains alcohol."

When host Duncan Garner pointed out alcohol isn't an excuse for assault, Money agreed. 

"That doesn't make an excuse though for men to do what they do," said Garner. 

"It absolutely doesn't," Money said. "But you need to be aware that alcohol and drugs is driving such a lot of behaviour, what are we doing in society to make sure we know how to be safe around that and what are we doing to stop people drinking and behaving to excess?"

Advocates have increasingly suggested the onus on stopping sexual assault shouldn't be put on the victims. 

Rape Prevention group Help Wellington says on its website the blame for sexual assault always lies 100 percent with the abuser. 

It goes on to say sexual assault is never the victim's fault regardless of whether they were drunk, on drugs, flirting, dressed in sexy clothes, perceived as promiscuous or slutty or chose to walk alone. 

Where to find help and support: 

  • Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633

  • Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

  • What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat

  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666

  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

  • Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584