The Alcohol Excuse Just Doesn’t Cut It

Peter-Ashley Jackson / CC BY 2.0

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy holidays as much as the next person, but St. Patrick’s Day is one of the only holidays based on binge drinking (besides Purim and the U.S.’s debased version of Cinco de Mayo). It’s hard to get behind a holiday that potentially increases the risk of violence and sexual assault. Obviously the alcohol excuse doesn’t paint the full picture, but its constant presence in rape and assault cases is undeniable. Here are some notable statistics that link alcohol to violence:

  • One study found that 70% of women and 80% of men had been drinking when a sexual assault occurred.
  • Two-thirds of victims of intimate partner violence reported that alcohol was involved in the incident.
  • In one study of interpersonal violence, men had been drinking in an estimated 45 percent of cases and women had been drinking in 20 percent of cases.
  • Women whose partners abused alcohol were 3.6 times more likely than other women to be assaulted by their partners.
  • An estimated 480,000 children are mistreated each year by a caretaker with alcohol problems.

There is no excuse for violence and sexual assault, but the reality is that alcohol increases probability. Be safe, have fun, get down and send cute animal photos to

Follow Ms. coverage of sexual violence and domestic violence issues here. 


Erica Shultz is the digital production artist at RVCA in Costa Mesa, California. She spends her free time reading, making zines & comics, and playing drums. Follow her comics on Instagram or check out her website.