Home > Alcohol, drug use and experiences of sexual violence victimisation among first-year college students in Ireland.

Burke, Lorraine ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8968-0193, Dawson, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0865-5565, Flack, William F ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6827-5906, O'Higgins, Siobhan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8793-8795, McIvor, Charlotte ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6200-2277 and MacNeela, Padraig ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5382-4113 (2023) Alcohol, drug use and experiences of sexual violence victimisation among first-year college students in Ireland. Journal of Sexual Aggression, Early online, https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2023.2216221.

External website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13552...

Sexual violence victimisation is common in college and first year presents a significant period of risk due to the navigation of alcohol, drugs and engaging in sexual intimacy. Cross-sectional data were analysed from 1,778 first-year college students, aged between 18 and 25 years. Experience of different forms of sexual violence victimisation and perpetrator tactics used were explored, along with the reported alcohol and drug use habits of victims. Results found that sexual violence through incapacitation was the most frequently reported tactic among all students. Hazardous alcohol consumption was significantly associated with higher rates of experience of all forms of sexual violence since beginning college among female students, and significantly associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing unwanted sexual touching for male students. There were gender differences in the associations between drug types and forms of sexual violence experienced. All drugs assessed predicted an increased risk of experiencing rape among female students, while cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine were associated with an increased risk of rape among male students. Further investigation is required into the context and environments in which different drug types are taken. The findings provide a strong rationale for including alcohol and drug use education as part of future sexual health and consent education programmes for college students.

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