Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the important questions people ask when thinking about alcohol and sexualized violence.


Isn’t sex more fun after a few drinks?

Research suggests the opposite is true!  Studies indicate people have less positive sexual experiences when alcohol is involved. They can be less aware, less coordinated, and less able to experience sexual pleasure and/or orgasm. People report sexual activity is more pleasurable when all partners are sober.

Is all sexual contact considered sexualized violence if alcohol is involved?

  • No. It is possible for people to have positive, consensual sexual experiences after drinking.
  • However, alcohol can add another layer of uncertainty and/or risk to a sexual encounter, particularly if you don’t know the person well.
  • If you don’t know how someone communicates while sober (how they show enthusiastic consent), then you will be less able to understand their words and actions while drunk. Review our consent cues for more information.

What if both/all people were drinking? Did they all commit sexualized violence?

  • Being drunk is never a valid excuse for being sexually aggressive or violent, just as it isn’t an excuse to vandalize property or physically harm another person.
  • It is the responsibility of the person who is initiating a physical encounter to ensure they have consent. A person who is incapacitated cannot consent, no matter what they say. If you are unsure, you should stop.
  • It is not someone's fault if another person takes advantage of them while they are drunk. One drunk person can take advantage of another drunk person.
  • A lack of intention or not meaning to hurt someone, is never a valid excuse for causing someone else harm.

I think I was sexually assaulted, what options are available, who can I reach out to for support/services?

  • It’s never someone’s fault if another person takes advantage of them if they were drinking.
  • Your health and wellbeing are important.
  • You deserve to be heard, believed and supported to get the services that you need.
  • You can reach out for support and services anytime after an experience of sexualized violence, it doesn’t have to be the day after.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexualized violence and there is an immediate health or safety concern

*Call 9-1-1 or seek medical attention by going to the nearest hospital
*If it happened on campus, you can also contact Campus Security (available 24/7) calling 250-721-7599

For confidential and non-judgemental support on campus you can connect with the:

How do I support someone who has disclosed that they experienced sexualized violence?

  • Follow the acronym COURAGE in order to learn how to support someone.
  • It takes a lot of courage for someone to disclose what they’ve experienced.
  • How you respond to a disclosure can have a significant impact on what happens next for a survivor.

What if someone accuses me of sexualized violence?

  • Stay calm and listen to what they are saying. 
  • Find someone you trust to talk to and/or seek support from.
  • Consider whether there’s a way to repair the harm. Ask them what they need and how you can mend the harm. Ask them what they need and how you can mend the harm.
  • Do not go on social media and post things, and never retaliate. Retaliation can include everything from gossiping about the person to threatening them with words or gestures.
  • Find out what your options are by connecting with the Sexualized Violence Resource Office on Campus.
  • You can also get support by reaching out to the Student Wellness Centre.

Someone I know was told they sexually assaulted or caused harm to another person, what can I do?

  • Learn about consent and sexualized violence.
  • If possible, provide an atmosphere where your friend can express honest feelings. You don't have to take their side, you can be supportive and hold them accountable for the things they say, believe or do.
  • Be mindful of how sharing someone’s story without their consent might negatively impact them or others, consider who you need to tell, and why.
  • Be honest with your friend about how much support you can give.
  • Help your friend generate alternatives and options in dealing with the situation.
  • Direct your friend to campus or community resources.
  • Realize that you, too, have been affected and seek support/counseling if necessary.

What NOT to do:

  • Don't put the blame on the person who experience harm – it's never someone's fault if another person has taken advantage of them when they have been drinking.
  • Don't assume you know how your friend wants to be treated – ask them what they need
  • Don't rely on your friend to deal with your feelings about what might have happened.
  • Don't break your friend's trust by telling others what might happened.


How do I drink without getting drunk too fast?

Check out our Safer Drinking Tips page.

What is a safe amount to drink?

Everyone reacts differently to alcohol based on their body size, previous experience with alcohol, if they've eaten, how much sleep they've had, stress, etc.

Check Canada's Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, Drinking 101 and Safer Drinking Tips for more information.

Can drinking alcohol be dangerous for my health?

People drink for many reasons and if you know about the effects of alcohol, you can better understand how it can affect you and make safer decisions about drinking.

Going over the recommended drinking guidelines or binge drinking (more than 4 drinks/occasion) can have an adverse affect on your overall health and university experience.

Ongoing excessive and binge drinking have been linked to accidents, injury, violence and future health issues.

Check out our Drinking 101 and Safer Drinking Tips for more helpful information.

How much alcohol does someone need to be considered too drunk or incapacitated?

  • The number of drinks that it takes someone to get drunk depends on body size, food consumed, and other factors. Recommended drinking guidelines 
  • If you think you are drunk, you probably are.
  • Alcohol impairs our ability to communicate effectively and can impede decision making.
  • Someone who is swaying, stumbling, incoherent or doesn’t seem to know what’s going on, is too drunk to consent. Stop , support them to get home safely and follow up on another day.