Myth busting

**Trigger Warning: Rape**

 

Myth busting:

 

There are lots of myths around sexual assault and rape. Here are some myths and facts to help clear things up a little bit.

 

Myth: People should not go out alone at night as that is when they are more likely to be raped/ sexually assaulted.

Fact: Only 9% of rapes are committed by ‘strangers’ (people unknown to the survivor). People are raped in their homes and work places where they are less likely to be believed and less likely to report the rape. This myth restricts freedom and suggests rape is the fault of the survivor as they were out at night on their own. Rape is always the fault of the perpetrator.

 

Myth: Women are sexually assaulted or raped ‘ask for it’ because of the way they dress.

Fact: Rape and sexual assault are never the fault of the survivor. Rape doesn’t happen because of what you wear, your background or attractiveness. It happens because someone has sex with you without your consent. The chant ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no’ sums this up nicely. Unfortunately, in court, dress has been cited as an excuse for perpetrators to avoid prosecution for rape. This is invalid defence as rape is non-consensual sex; wearing a short skirt does not mean that you have consented to sex.

 

Myth: Women secretly want to be raped.

Fact: Some people have rape fantasies, but most people who act these out do so consensually and therefore they are not rape cases. Rape is non-consensual sex and if an individual changes their mind about engaging in sex at any point, the other person has to respect this. Consent must be given every time people engage in sexual contact.

 

Myth: The person was drunk/ took drugs so she deserved it.

Fact: If a person is unconscious, or their judgement is impaired by alcohol or drugs, legally they are unable to give consent. Having non-consensual sex with a person who is intoxicated is rape/ sexual assault. Remember, rape is never the fault of the survivor.

 

Myth: If you have consented to sex once, then any future sex with the same person isn’t rape.

Fact: Every sexual counter has to be consensual, otherwise it is classed as rape. Just because someone has consented to sex before, does not mean that they consent forever.

 

Myth: People from certain backgrounds are more likely to commit rape or sexual assault.

Fact: There is no typical rapist. Studies show that people who commit rape or sexual violence come from every economic, ethnic, religious, racial, age, sexuality, gender and social group. 85% of rapists and sexual assaulters are known to the survivor.

 

Myth: The perpetrator was drunk/ on drugs/ depressed/ under stress/ wasn’t themselves, therefore they are not to blame.

Fact: Perpetrators use a variety of excuses to justify rape and sexual assault. There is never an excuse and rape is always the fault of the perpetrator.

 

 


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