Myths about sexual assault prevent many victims from reporting and seeking assistance in working through the trauma of the assault. We must work to discard and dispel these myths.
MYTH:Most sexual assault victims were really asking for it.
FACT:No one wants to be raped. That’s the same as saying that people ask to be mugged or robbed.
MYTH:Only women who walk alone at night are sexually assaulted.
FACT:Studies show that half of all reported sexual assaults are committed in the victim’s home.
MYTH:Sexual assault occurs only among strangers.
FACT:In nearly 84% of the sexual assault cases, the victims and the offender know each other in some way.
MYTH:No person can be sexually assaulted against their will.
FACT:Studies indicate that in less than 30% of the sexual assault cases, the victims are faced with a weapon or great bodily harm.
MYTH:Only young, attractive women are victims.
FACT:Although most victims are female, there is an increase in the number of children and men reporting sexual assault. Any vulnerable woman, child or man is a potential victim. Documented cases of sexual assault have happened to people as young as four months and as old as 92.
MYTH:Sexual assault is an impulsive, uncontrollable act.
FACT:86% of sexual assaults are planned in advance by the offender.
MYTH:Sexual assault is primarily a sex act.
FACT:Sexual assault is primarily an act of violence. It is sexual only in its method - the intent is violence.
MYTH:Most rapists are lonely men without females or loved ones.
FACT:Most rapists are married or have other sexual outlets. They do not rape for sexual gratification. They rape to assume power and control over someone. Rapists have said that rape is “lousy sex”.
MYTH:Men are not raped.
FACT:One in seven men will be sexually assaulted by the age of 17.