Despite the commonality of rape and sexual assault, many people are woefully misinformed on the subject. This misinformation can be hurtful to a lot of people. It helps strengthen rape culture and is harmful to victims of past and future assaults. The best way to combat this from happening is to expose the myths associated with rape and sexual assault. Although there are many, here are ten myths most commonly associated with rape and sexual assault.
The Myth: Rape is about lust or uncontrollable sexual urges that require gratification.
The Truth: Although rape can be deemed as a sexual act, it is about domination, control, power and physical violence. Although a rapist may get sexual gratification from the act, he’s really motivated by having power and control over his victim.
The Myth: Women “ask for it”.
The Truth: Wearing provocative clothing, flirting, walking home alone, staying out late, and drinking too much are not invitations for unwanted sexual advances. If a woman doesn’t want to do anything, she doesn’t have to.
The Myth: Sexual attractiveness is the main reason why women get raped.
The Truth: The attractiveness of a woman doesn’t matter. Rapists target women who are vulnerable and accessible.
The Myth: Most women are raped by strangers.
The Truth: Although some women are sexually assaulted by strangers, this is not the norm. According to statics, 2/3 of assaults are committed by people the victim knows. About 38% of rapists are friends and acquaintances. 57% of rapes occur on dates.
The Myth: If a woman really didn’t want to have sex with someone, she would have fought off her attacker.
The Truth: Although only 11% of sexual assaults occur with a weapon, a rapist can use other things to overpower his victim. The element of surprise, shock, fear, threats, and physical violence can be enough to lull a victim into submission.
The Myth: Lots of women file false reports to get men in trouble.
The Truth: Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes in the United States. Only about 1 in 10 of sexual assaults are reported. Out of all the assaults reported, less than 2% are false.
The Myth: Rape is a rare crime.
The Truth: Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. This equates to approximately 207, 754 victims each year.
The Myth: Husbands/boyfriends can’t rape their spouses.
The Truth: Rape can occur within a relationship. If a husband or boyfriend has sex with their significant other without their consent or forces them it’s rape.
The Myth: A woman who was really raped would have visible, physical injuries.
The Truth: Approximately 66% of sexual assault victims have no visible physical injuries. This could be because the rapist subdued his victim through threats, intimidation, or the use of a weapon. The victim may also have been drunk, drugged or unconscious during the assault.
The Myth: Rape is only a women’s issue.
The Truth: Men can also be victims of rape and sexual assault. 1 in 10 rape victims are male. In addition to this, many men have friends or family members who were affected by rape and sexual assault, whether they know it or not.