Understanding Trauma & Violence


Does being intoxicated excuse sexual harm perpetration? How much does alcohol really impair your ability to control yourself?


Thank you for this question. Being intoxicated does not excuse sexual harm perpetration. While alcohol can impair judgment and lower inhibitions, it does not absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions. Engaging in sexual activity without consent is always wrong, regardless of whether the perpetrator was intoxicated at the time. Consent requires clear communication and mutual agreement, which cannot be given when one party is incapacitated by alcohol or any other substance.

Alcohol can indeed impair one's ability to control themselves to varying degrees, depending on factors such as the individual's tolerance, the amount consumed, and their overall health. While alcohol can lower inhibitions and lead to riskier behavior, it does not eliminate personal responsibility for one's actions. It's important to recognize that even while intoxicated, individuals are still accountable for the choices they make and the harm they may cause to others.

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