April 16, 2009
DA Launches New Website to Prevent Crime of Rape by Intoxication
Message of Accountability Aimed at High School Students
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis and a diverse group of community leaders today announced a new public education campaign aimed at preventing sexual assaults connected to drinking. As part of the campaign, a new website (www.KnowThePrice.org) goes online today aimed at educating young people about the crime of rape by intoxication.
"There is an urgent need to provide accurate information about this specific and growing crime to people in a wide age range," said DA Dumanis. "Our previous education campaign reached out to college students, but the reality is that younger kids also need to know the law."
The new website aimed at youth 18-years old and younger includes compelling videos featuring interviews with sexual assault victims, a prosecutor, a police detective, a sexual assault response team doctor, and college fraternity members - all giving first-person accounts designed to educate young people about rape by intoxication. Ads for the campaign are also scheduled to run in movie theaters in San Diego County this summer.
"With the number of reported cases of rape by intoxication in San Diego County increasing 60 percent from 2007 to 2008, this campaign will provide the community with a valuable resource and help educate youth on the dangers and repercussions of this very serious crime," said Susan Golding, CEO and President of the Child Abuse Prevent Foundation. The foundation provided major funding for the outreach campaign and the new website.
"It is through these collaborative efforts between educators, law enforcement, social services groups and prosecutors that we hope to reduce the number of rape by intoxication incidents," said San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne.
The District Attorney's Office filed rape by intoxication-related charges in 39 cases in 2007, and 61 cases in 2008. Charges of rape or sexual assault by intoxication are brought when a woman is too intoxicated to give legal consent to have sex. It's estimated that alcohol is involved in the majority of rape cases prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office.
"We applaud the district attorney's office in taking a leadership role to raise awareness about this very serious crime," says Verna Griffin-Tabor, executive director of Center for Community Solutions, a non-profit agency that offers a complete range of sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and intervention services. "Together we can educate students about the role that alcohol often plays in the perpetration of sexual assault and violent crimes. There is no better time to address this growing problem in our community, especially since April is recognized nationwide as Sexual Assault Awareness Month."
The new education campaign comes amid outrage over a movie currently being shown in theatres. "Observe and Report" includes a scene portraying rape by intoxication in a humorous and acceptable context. The scene, which is a mainstream validation of date rape, shows why more education about the law is needed.
In addition to the new website, additional content and video interviews have been added to a previous outreach campaign hosted at the website www.wastedsex.com. That site is aimed specifically at college students.
Both campaigns are a collaborative effort between the District Attorney's Sex Crimes and Stalking Division, Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego Police Department, Center for Community Solutions, Sexual Assault Response Team, San Diego State University, University of California at San Diego, University of San Diego, Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children's Hospital, Javelin Web and Media, San Diego-area community colleges and the U.S. military.
More information on the crime of rape by intoxication can be found on the District Attorney's public website: www.SanDiegoDA.com