Sexual Assault Myths & Facts

Myth: Rape is caused by lust or uncontrollable sexual urges and the need for sexual gratification.

Fact: Rape is an act of physical violence and domination that is not motivated by sexual gratification.


Myth: Once a man is sexually aroused, he just can't stop.

Fact: Men do not physically need to have sex after becoming sexually excited. Moreover, they are still able to control themselves after becoming sexually aroused.


Myth: Women often lie about rape or falsely accuse someone of rape.

Fact: Statistical studies indicate that false rape reports make up two percent or less of the reported cases of sexual assault. This figure is approximately the same for other types of crimes. Only one out of 10 rapes are actually reported. Rapes by someone the victim knows are the least likely to be reported.


Myth: Women provoke sexual assault sometimes by the way they dress or act. Sexual attractiveness is a primary reason why a rapist selects a victim.

Fact: Rapists do not select their victims by their appearance. They select victims who are vulnerable and accessible. Victims of sexual assault range in age from infants to the elderly. Sexual attractiveness is not an issue. This mentality leads us to blame the victim instead of the attacker, and in turn, we don't hold the attacker accountable for his/her actions.


Myth: If a woman really did not want to be raped, she could fight off her attacker. 

Fact: Even is the rapist is not carrying a weapon, the element of surprise, shock and fear or the threat of harm can paralyze a survivor from reacting.


Myth: Most perpetrators are strangers to their victims.

Fact: Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, a neighbor, a co-worker, a classmate, partner or ex-partner.


Myth: Sexual assault is often a case of mistaken communication, a mistake.

Fact: Sexual assault is not simply a mistake. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact, obtained without consent through force, threat, coercion or intimidation.


Myth: If you hadn't been drinking, it wouldn't have happened.

Fact: Alcohol is a weapon used by some perpetrators to gain control over their victim. As part of a plan, they may have encouraged the victim to use alcohol or selected someone who was already intoxicated. Alcohol is not the cause of rape but another tool that perpetrators use.


Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.

Fact:  Men can be and are sexually assaulted. Current statistics state that 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 


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