Myths and Facts
Below are a selection of myths alongside the actual facts:
MYTH: Rape only occurs between strangers down dark alleyways
FACT: The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. In fact it is estimated that 80% of women who are raped or sexually assaulted know their attackers and that 53% of assaults are committed by a current or ex partner.
MYTH: If the victim didn't scream, fight or get injured, it wasn't rape.
FACT: Some sexual assaults do result in injury. However in traumatic situations it is a common response to freeze rather than fight, scream or run away. Many people assume they would be able to fight someone off if they were assaulted however the 'freeze and flop' reaction is an unconscious decision. Male victims often feel particularly guilty about this but they shouldn't. It is entirely natural. Victims often ‘flop', a decision made by their sub-conscious brain in order to survive the threat. As a result there is often no sign of violence, torn clothing or witnesses who heard screaming.
MYTH: Men or Women who drink, flirt or wear tight clothes are 'asking for it.'
FACT: Drinking, flirting and/or wearing tight clothing is not a crime - Rape is. There is only one person to blame and that is the offender. Everyone has a right to enjoy themselves regardless of their actions or what they are wearing. No means No.
MYTH: Only gay men get raped
FACT: Men of all sexual orientations get raped. Rape is not a ‘gay crime' and does not discriminate.
MYTH: Sex Workers cannot be raped
FACT: Sex Workers have the same rights with regards to consent as everyone else. The transactions they negotiate with clients are for consensual activities, not rape. No consent = Rape or Sexual Assault.
MYTH: If a victim doesn't report to the police immediately it wasn't rape
FACT: Rape and sexual assault is under reported. The trauma of rape can cause feelings of shame and guilt which may dissuade a victim from reporting an assault to Police. We understand it takes a lot of courage to report an assault to the Police; the Sexual Assault Referral Centre or to even disclose the assault to a friend or family member.
MYTH: It isn't rape if my partner has sex with me even when I've said no
FACT: Just because you're in a relationship or married to someone it does not entitle them to have sex with you when they want. Sex without the consent of both parties is rape. Research shows that you are more likely to be sexually assaulted by a current or ex partner than a stranger.