Chico, Calif. -- Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday; it's a weekend full of celebration for many, but for others, it could turn into a horrible experience.
A counselor from the Rape Crisis Intervention and Prevention in Chico said, unfortunately, they do experience a higher volume of calls after social holidays like this one.
Reyes Arrola is a counselor at Rape Crisis Intervention and Prevention. He says any big holiday is an invitation to socialize, which is usually a great thing, except when people take advantage of it.
“Holidays, essentially, are a hunting ground for perpetrators to find a vulnerable person, to kind of target that person,” he said.
He says around the big ones like Halloween, St. Patrick's day, Cinco de Mayo, and several others, they do see an increase in call volume.
But it's not necessarily the day after, it could take up to a week for someone to call in.
“It will take some time for them to understand that what happened to them is actually illegal.”
He said when it comes to holidays, people are able to express themselves more freely, and if alcohol or drugs are involved, that "liquid courage" can take over.
“It creates another environment for folks to be able to be more aggressive, be more persistent, and be more inappropriate, to be quite honest with you.”
But, he says we can't just blame sexual assaults on alcohol; the conversation needs to change to holding the people who do it accountable.
“Alcohol doesn't rape you, perpetrators rape you. It's not substances that are raping people, it's people that are raping people.”
He also said most people do know their perpetrators, so he encourages everyone to always be aware of who they go out with and who they surround themselves with.
He said holidays are great, and people should be able to go out there, have fun, and have a few drinks without being afraid that something horrible could happen.
Rape Crisis Intervention and Prevention is a 24 hour crisis-line service, and the number is 530-891-1331.
- Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Could Lead to Trouble for Some
- 'Cinco de Mayo' deals around Northern California
- Celebrating Snow!
- District Attorney outlines killer's troubled, criminal past
- Oroville Mayoral Candidate Speaks About Troubled Past
- Trouble for Venues in Tehama County
- Troubling Numbers in New Chico Traffic Report
- California officials to update community about troubled dam
- Two ships in trouble off Norway's western coast
- Celebration of Healing Arts