Sexual Assault: Myths and Facts

Myth: Rape is a sexual crime, impulsively committed for sexual gratification.
Fact: Rape is a predatory crime of violence and aggression. It is intended to overpower, degrade, and humiliate the victim.

Myth: Rape does not happen very often.
Fact: Rape is the most frequently committed violent crime in the U.S. It is also the most underreported.

Myth: Most rapes are committed by a stranger in a dark place at night.
Fact: It is estimated that 80% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Nearly half of all assaults occur in the victim's home. Many acquaintance rapes occur in the context of a dating relationship.

Myth: Rape is the victim's fault. The victim provokes rape by the way they dress, behave, or where they choose to go.
Fact: Rape is NEVER the victim's fault. If a person wanted to be involved sexually, force or threats of physical violence would not be necessary.

Myth: When a woman or a man says "no" she/he really means "yes" or "maybe."
Fact: The fact is NO means NO, no matter who says it or what the situation may be.

Myth: Women report rapes to get even with men or to protect their reputation.
Fact: According to the FBI, fewer than 2% of reported rapes are false, which is the same percentage for false reporting of other crimes.

Myth: Men cannot be raped.
Fact: Men can be raped. Men do not report rape as often because of fear and embarrassment. It is suggested that 1 in 12 to 20 men are raped.

Myth: Men who are raped by other men are homosexual.
Fact: Regardless if it is a man raping a man or a woman raping a man, rape is still about power and aggression. Sexual preference has nothing to do with rape.

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