Whatıs the truth about rape and sexual assault?

Myths about rape and sexual assault perpetuate these crimes. Myths prevent victims from reporting the incident by making them believe it was their fault and by discrediting their experiences. Rapists use myths to support their actions. The truth about rape and sexual assault must be understood as a means of preventing future crimes.

Myth Most rapes are committed by a stranger.

Fact The FBI reports that 85% of victims know the assailant.

Myth Rape is rare on college campuses.

Fact 1 out of every 4 women in college has been a victim of rape or attempted rape.

Myth Itıs no big deal if a person is forced to have sex with a friend, date, lover or spouse, and it isnıt really rape.

Fact This is rape. In some ways it can be more traumatic than stranger rape because the victimıs trust in others and in his or her own judgment can be seriously damaged.

Myth Itıs not rape if the victim doesnıt struggle.

Fact Nonconsensual sex is rape whether or not the victim physically or verbally resists.

Myth There are some women who ask for or provoke rape.

Fact No one asks to be raped, regardless of where she goes, what she says, wears, or does, or how drunk or drugged she may be, just as no one asks to be robbed because she/he is carrying money. The responsibility lies with the person committing the crime, not with the victim.

Myth A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol is ³fair game.²

Fact No one is ³fair game.² In fact, someone who is impaired by alcohol or other drugs may be incapable of understanding the situation, making it impossible for her or him to give consent to sex.

Myth Kissing and touching are a promise of sex.

Fact Everyone has the right to say no at any time to any form of sexual activity regardless of what has occurred up to that point.

Myth A man can tell by a womanıs body language when she wants to have sex.

Fact By assuming what a body movement means, you project what you want onto your partner. Acting on assumptions often leads to rape.

Myth Itıs not your fault if you commit rape while drunk or drugged.

Fact Being drunk or drugged is no legal defense against committing rape or any other sexual assault.

Myth Men canıt stop themselves when they are sexually aroused.

Fact Men are capable of, and responsible for, controlling their minds and their bodies, just as women are.

Myth Sexual violence does not occur between lesbians or between gay men.

Fact Sexual violence can occur in any relationship. Fear of homophobic responses may prevent victims from seeking help.

Myth Men are never victims of rape and sexual assault.

Fact 1 in 12 rape victims is male according to the National Crime Survey. Both men and women may be perpetrators or victims of sexual violence.

Myth Women often lie about being raped.

Fact False reports of rape are 2-4%, the same rate as other reported crimes.

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