Taking Charge: Young Women, Alcohol, and Sexual Assault

Who this program is for:

The Taking Charge Tool Kit is for professionals who work with young women ages 16-18


What this program is about:

One of the many risks youth consistently identify connected to underage drinking at parties is “sexual regrets”.  What most teens don’t recognize is that some of these regrettable actions are actually instances of sexual assault.  Taking Charge was developed for health professionals to support and inform young women about the risks of sexual assault associated with partying where alcohol is involved, have them identify strategies to reduce those risks and encourage friends, peers, professionals and parents to provide support to young women who feel they have been sexually assaulted or engaged in sexual behaviour that they regret.  The program package has a curriculum and support materials for use with Girls Groups, school programs and other applications.

Parent Action on Drugs talked to over 200 young women between the ages of 16 and 18 about, parties, alcohol and sexual assault. Whether they had been sexually assaulted or not, most girls said they would not come forward because…

  • They would feel ashamed and humiliated.
  • They would feel that they let it happen.
  • If they had said yes at any time, then the guy would not be responsible.
  • Friends would cut them out.
  • There could be reprisals from the boy.
  • They would never be forgiven by their parents.

Based on the information from young women and professionals, this tool kit was developed for health professionals to support and inform young women. The Tool Kit fits into a variety of settings and curriculum programs.


How to access this program:

  • Contact us for more infomation
  • Order the Taking Charge Tool Kit or supporting materials
  • Browse resource components below
The Taking Charge Tool Kit
Supporting Materials

This project was funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Victim Services Secretariat.


Relevant quotes:

  • “Whenever possible, teens need to have “control” handed back to them as loss of control is what happens in sexual assault. See the teen as a person with rights and not as a fragile ‘victim’.” – Sexual assault counsellor
  • “For years I thought it was my fault for being too drunk. I never called it ‘rape’ until much more recently, even though I repeatedly told him, “No.” – Young woman
  • “Some [girls] do not realize an assault had taken place till the next day.” – Health professional



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