Myths About Sexual Assault
Each year, Vera House helps more than 700 people who have been sexually assaulted. More than half of these victims are children younger than 18. Yet most sexual assaults go unreported, partly because of myths regarding the nature of the crime, the attackers and the victims.
MYTH: No one can be raped against his or her will.
REALITY: Rape is a crime of power and aggression. Rapists use intimidation, threats and often, physical force. Most victims believe their lives are in danger.
MYTH: Women ask to be raped by flirting or wearing sexy clothing.
REALITY: No one asks or deserves to be raped. The attacker is always responsible.
MYTH: When a woman says “no,” she means yes.
REALITY: “No” means “No” – period.
MYTH: Most victims are raped by someone they don’t know.
REALITY: In more than 80% of all rapes and sexual assaults, the victim and attacker know each other. Nearly half take place in the victim’s home.
MYTH: Women “cry rape” to get even with men or to protect their reputations.
REALITY: Rape and the ensuing medical and legal processes are traumatic for victims. Rarely does anyone – man, woman or child – make false allegations of rape.
MYTH: Men can’t be sexually assaulted.
REALITY: Any person can be the victim of sexual assault. Rape and sexual assault are among the most devastating acts of violence a man can experience. 1 of every 10 victims of rape or sexual assault is a boy or man.