Myths About Sexual Assault
Myths about rape are widespread. Many are so widely accepted that they are believed to be true, even by victims of sexual assault. The problem with these myths is that they put the blame on the victim. By talking about what these myths are, we can begin to understand the truth about sexual assault.
Myth: Rape is about sex. People who rape do it because they cannot control their sexual desire.
Reality: Rape is not about sex. Rape is about having power and control over another person. Three out of five rapists are also in consenting sexual relationships. This myth takes the blame off of the rapist and does not hold him accountable for his actions.
Myth: Victims provoke sexual assault by the way they act or dress.
Reality: No one asks to be raped. What someone is wearing and how they are acting has nothing to do with being raped. Women of all ages and all lifestyles are raped. Studies have shown that 71% of rapes are planned ahead of time, making what you are wearing or how you acting unimportant. Rape is about power and control, not sex.
Myth: Rapists are always strangers. You cannot be raped by someone you know or are in a relationship with.
Reality: Most rapes involve friends, acquaintances, significant others or spouses. This myth assumes that these rapes happen because of miscommunication. This is not true! Rape happens because one person feels they have the right to take what they want and have control over the other person’s body. Because this myth is so widely believed in our society, many rape victims are afraid to report the assault because they feel no one will believe them, and that it was their fault.
Myth: If a victim wanted to prevent the assault they could.
Reality: This myth assumes that no one can be forced to have sex. In fact, the majority of rapes involve threats of physical harm and the use of physical force. A person who is being threatened with their immediate physical safety will do whatever necessary to survive.
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