Myth: Women "ask for it" by their dress or actions.
FACT Rapists look for victims they perceive as vulnerable, not women who dress in a particular way. Assuming that women provoke attacks by where they are or the way they dress is victim-blaming. No person, whatever their behaviour, "deserves" to be raped.
Myth: Gang rape is rare.
FACT: In 43% of all reported cases, more than one assailant was involved.
Myth: Sexual assaults are rare deviations and affect few people. After all, no one I know has been raped.
Fact: Sexual assaults are very common. Most likely, someone close to you has been profoundly affected by sexual assault. Not only are victims reluctant to discuss their assaults but many succeed in totally blocking the assault from conscious memory. However, the trauma remains and may come to the surface at another crisis or when the opportunity to discuss it with a sympathetic person arises. An estimated 155,000 women were raped each year between 1973 and 1987. (U.S. Department of Justice, 1991)
Myth: Women often make false reports of rape.
Fact: According to FBI crime statistics, during the 1990s around 8 percent. The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forcible rape than for any other Index crime. Eight percent of forcible rape complaints in 1996 were “unfounded,” while the average for all Index crimes was 2 percent.
Myth: Sexual assault is an impulsive, spontaneous act.
Fact: Most rapes are carefully planned by the rapist. A rapist will rape again and again, usually in the same area of town and in the same way.
Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs between strangers.
Fact: By some estimates, over 70% of rape victims know their attackers. The rapist may be a relative, friend, co-worker, date or other acquaintance.
Myth: Most rapes occur as a "spur of the moment" act in a dark alley by a stranger.
Fact: Rape often occurs in one's home - be it apartment, house or dormitory. Very often the rapist is known by the victim in some way and the rape is carefully planned.
Myth: Only certain kinds of people get raped. It cannot happen to me.
FACTRapists act without considering their victim's physical appearance, dress, age, race, gender, or social status. Assailants seek out victims who they perceive to be vulnerable. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center has worked with victims from infancy to ninety-two years of age and from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Myth: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification. Most rape are spontaneous acts of passion where the assailant cannot control him/herself.
FACT Rape is a premeditated act of violence, not a spontaneous act of passion. 71% of rapes are planned in advance. 60% of convicted rapists were married or had regular sexual partners at the time of the assault. Men can control their sexual impulses. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.
Myth: Rapists are strangers. If people avoid strangers, then they will not be raped.
FACT In 60% of the rapes reported to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in 1991, the rapist was known to the victim. 7% of the assailants were family members of the victim. These statistics reflect only reported rapes. Assaults by assailants the victim knows are often not reported so the statistics do not reflect the actual numbers of acquaintance rapes.
Myth: Rapists are abnormal perverts; only sick or insane men are rapists.
FACT In a study of 1300 convicted offenders, few were diagnosed as mentally or emotionally ill. Most were well-adjusted but had a greater tendency to express their anger through violence and rage.
Myth: Most rapes occur on the street, by strangers, or by a few crazy men.
FACT Over 50% of reported rapes occur in the home. 80% of sexual assaults reported by college age women and adult women were perpetrated by close friends or family members. There is no common profile of a rapist. Rapes are committed by people from all economic levels, all races, all occupations. A rapist can be your doctor, your boss, your clergyman, your superintendent, your partner, your lover, your friend or your date.
Aug 23, 11 13:33