Thursday, April 16, 2009
SAN DIEGO San Diego County District Attorney's Office is launching a new campaign designed to curb the number of rapes involving alcohol or drugs. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
The DA's office reports a 60 percent hike in rapes where either one or both people were drinking or drugging. A growing number of those cases involve teenagers.
That's why the DA's Office partnered with San Diego schools to promote KnowThe Price.org. The website is the engine behind a countywide public awareness campaign.
Marge Kleinsmith-Hildebrand is in charge of sex education in San Diego Unified. She says many students believe consent isn't needed when they're drinking and partying.
“We see students all the time being very confused, that if they’re both drinking, and they’re both having sex, why could that end up being a crime,” Kleinsmith-Hildebrand said. “So we're really looking forward to having partners in the community in our efforts.”
Law enforcement officials call it rape by intoxication, and it can result eight-year prison sentence. Authorities say sex under the influence without consent remains to be a huge social problem among college students. That's why the DA’s Office is also partnering with UC San Diego and San Diego State University.
Dr. Penny Rue is at UCSD's Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. She's pleased there's a new focus on both college students and teenagers.
“I can't tell you how many women I have counseled who come to college with the heavy baggage of a previous rape,” Rue said. “A burden that can alter their entire college experience.”
Public awareness ads for KnowThePrice.org are also expected to run in San Diego County movie theaters.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.