New Tool Could Cut Campus Rapes, But Govt Refuses Funding, Says Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf

A powerful new tool for colleges was unveiled today which, among its many benefits, could help cut rapes on campus. However, it appears, based upon the criteria listed on the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) website, that the federal government will refuse to provide funding to make it effective, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Washington, DC, September 28, 2015 --( This will result not only in the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars, but also cause thousands of traumatic rapes which could have been prevented with a little thought, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, a recognized expert on the growing problem of rapes at colleges and universities.

The new tool, called the College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (or College AIM), was released on its website by the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism. It is designed to permit an institution of higher education to find the programs to reduce binge drinking which would be most effective for its particular circumstances, and to tailor it to its specific needs.

This could be an important breakthrough, argues Banzhaf. But it appears that - based upon the contents of the website of the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) discussed more fully below - the federal government will continue its policy of refusing to fund even the most effective programs, he says.

Although a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that most campus sexual assaults occur when students are intoxicated, and that students agree with experts that reducing drinking would reduce sexual assaults, the Chronicle of Highed Education reported that the federal government discourages colleges from even suggesting that students moderate their drinking to reduce such incidents.

Banzhaf suggests that taxpayers would be outraged to learn that the federal government spends tens of millions of their tax dollars telling people how to avoid automobile accidents, but never once warns against driving while drunk - so as not to embarrass drivers who injure themselves in accidents after they drank to excess.

Well, it doesn't actually do something quite that stupid, but it does do something almost as foolish: spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on programs telling students how to reduce sexual assaults, but never mentioning alcohol, even though excessive drinking is a leading factor in such rapes, says Banzhaf.

More specifically, the guide for obtaining government funds to reduce sexual violence on campus says that campus projects aimed at reducing rapes which focus primarily on alcohol abuse are considered "out of scope," notes Banzhaf, an expert in the field who has twice been termed by his detractors as a “Radical Feminist,” and is frequently cited on this topic.

And the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) even goes so far as to censor those who want to speak out about the connection. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, one victim of this censorship complained, "This starts to censor how we can talk about the issue, ... I don’t think you are doing young women any favors by saying, We’re not going to tell you that this happens - and be careful about it." The reason given for the censorship, she says, were "focusing on how much students drink... leads to blaming victims."

Also according to the Chronicle, the reason why colleges are so reluctant to warn women about drinking to excess, and about how it greatly magnifies their chances of being raped - what it called a "taboo" subject - is that women who become drunk and are raped may blame themselves.

“While statistics show that alcohol and sex can be a dangerous combination - at least half of students involved in alleged sexual assaults were drinking - campus officials are reluctant to put the two in the same sentence. The discussion of alcohol and sexual violence is the ‘third rail of discourse,'" the Chronicle reports.

But the link between drinking and campus rape is even worse. A Risk Research Bulletin put out by insurance company United Educators (UE) shows, in 92 percent of the claims with losses, the accuser was under the influence of alcohol, and "more than 60 percent of accusers were so intoxicated that they had no clear memory of the assault."

It’s obvious that being drunk affects a woman's judgment about whether to have sex, as well as about getting into situations in which being assaulted is far more probable, says Banzhaf. Furthermore, not being able to testify about what happened can make it difficult if not impossible to prosecute such cases, he asserts.

"This is a striking example of how women's lives are being ruined, and millions of dollars of taxpayers' money are being wasted, all because of political correctness run amok. You can't rationally decide how to best spend taxpayers’ money in grants based upon abstract discussions concerned solely with politically correct slogans and sound bites about 'responsibility' and 'blame,'" he suggests.
George Washington University Law School
Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
202 994-7229 // 703 527-8418