Security officials at U.N.B. defend twitter message
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:28PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:23PM AST
Security officials at the University of New Brunswick are defending a tweet sent-out earlier this month.
The tweet drew a link between alcohol abuse and sexual assault. It’s a link that experts in the field worry might send the wrong message.
Security officials at U.N.B. say students should see the video, which was produced in New Zealand, about the dangers of excessive drinking and the potential for sexual assault.
“There’s no doubt, I’ve been led to believe and told to believe that sexual assaults, the majority of them are alcohol related,” explains Bruce Rogerson, head of the university’s security. “When you send out a strong video like that, it’s out there for people to interpret, but it’s also there to generate discussion.”
Rogerson sent out a tweet with a link to the video. The tweet reads, “Alcohol overconsumption equals sexual assaults.”
The tweet, which has created so much discussion, comes at a time when campuses everywhere are tying to control binge drinking in the student population and prevent future tragedies from occurring.
Rogerson’s message received an angry response in the university’s newspaper which suggested the tweet was blaming the victim.
There are also concerns about linking victim’s alcohol consumption and sexual assault.
“If we say that someone who has a couple of drinks, it’s their fault that they were sexually assaulted, we’re victim blaming,” says Lorraine Whalley of the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre. “If we even talk about the victim and their consumption of alcohol, we’re focusing on their behavior rather than the perpetrator.”
However, Rogerson says the tweet may have been misinterpreted. “You never blame the victim in those types of scenarios; I mean the perpetrator is a criminal.”
As for the use of Twitter, Rogerson says using social media to get important messages out has its drawbacks, but it still remains the best to reach students on campus.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.
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