I was looking up information pertaining to Rape Crisis Centers and I found a great list of rape myths that I thought would be good to share —
MYTH: Rape = Sex
FACT: People commit rape for power, control & domination.
MYTH: Rapist are sex-starved perverts.
FACT: Most rapists are married, or have a regular, consenting sex partner.
MYTH: I could never be raped.
FACT: Unfortunately, every one is vulnerable to rape.
MYTH: Strangers commit rape.
FACT: Nationally, 82% of rape victims know the person who raped them. According to the San Antonio Police Department in 1,750 cases committed from 1999 through 2001, 92% of the victims knew their perpetrators.
MYTH: Rape happens in bad neighborhoods, down dark alleys.
FACT: Most rapes happen in the home of the victim, the rapist, or a friend.
MYTH: Some women ask to be raped by the way they dress.
FACT: Rapists choose their victims based on availability, not on the way they look.
MYTH: If a women gets drunk and leads a guy, then she ‘asked’ to be raped.
FACT: A person who is drinking or using drugs CANNOT consent to sex under any circumstance. The other individual is expected to know consent cannot be given.
MYTH: Men can’t control themselves. If he’s turn on and can’t stop, it’s her fault.
FACT: Every one can control his or her actions. Raping someone is an action. Each person is responsible for his her own actions.
MYTH: Women often lie about being raped to get back at a guy or to get revenge.
FACT: False reports of rape are very rare. It is difficult to lie about rape because of the medical exam, the investigation, and most importantly, the shame involved.
MYTH: You can pick out a rapist by the way he looks.
FACT: Rapists can be young, old, rich, poor, good-looking, ugly, male, female, smart or stupid. You cannot pick a rapist out of a crowd.
MYTH: Men cannot be raped.
FACT: Approximately 111,000 adult men are raped in America every year.
MYTH: Rape is ‘just sex she/he didn’t want’.
FACT: Rape is about violence. Sex is being used as a weapon against someone’s will.
MYTH: All women really want to be raped.
FACT: No one wants to be raped. Women do not like rape.
MYTH: ‘No’ sometimes means ‘Yes’ or ‘Try harder’.
FACT: No always means no.
MYTH: If someone never says, ‘No,’ it can’t be called rape.
FACT: The law says consent must be a verbal agreement. The person has to say “yes.”
MYTH: Rape victimes are ‘damaged goods’ or no longer virgins.
FACT: Being raped does not fundamentally change the character, the values, the strengths, or the positive attributes of the victim. It is a bad thing that happened TO them, not because of them.
It is NEVER someone’s fault that they were sexually assaulted, and it is absolutely crucial that we stop victim shaming. The responsibility of rape is with the rapist and the rapist alone. To everyone who has been a victim of sexual assault — my heart goes out to you and I hope that you all can find healing in your lives.