SEXUAL ASSAULT: FACTS & MYTHS
Myths about rape and sexual assault are still prevalent in our society and are frequently reinforced by television, the media and those who simply don’t know the facts. Dispelling these myths is vital to getting justice for victims; everyone you speak to is a potential juror in a rape or sexual assault trial. So, lets test your knowledge. Read the following statements from Rape Abuse and Incest National Network RAINN to see if you can determine which is the myth and which is truth? I will post which are myth and which are fact tomorrow on the blog.
1) Females often say “no” when they are playing hard to get.
2) According to the FBI, rape is the second most violent crime, following only murder. No matter what choices were made by the victim, the perpetrator chose to commit rape and in no way is the victim responsible.
3) If a female dresses provocatively, she either wants sex or is responsible if someone interprets her clothes as a signal for wanting sex.
4) A desire to look attractive by wearing certain clothing doesn’t mean she is consenting to sexual activity. The circumstances of the individual situation do not matter -– where you are, if you went there willingly, if you’ve been drinking or what you’re wearing—the only thing that matters is consent.
5) A person who has been sexually assaulted will be hysterical.
6) Sometimes there is a gray area in sexual activity where it is difficult to determine whether or not consent was given.
7) No matter what other signals a person feels they received, “no” always means “no.” It’s all very simple—it all comes down to consent: If both partners consent, it’s sex; if one says “no” it’s rape.
8) In one study, 98% of males who raped boys reported that they were heterosexual according to the 1998 article Sexual Abuse of Boys in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
9) Male rape only happens in jails and prisons.
10) If someone is forced either emotionally, physically or psychologically to engage in a sexual act that they are not comfortable with, that is sexual assault. All parties must consent to the sexual activity.
11) If she had sex with me before, she has consented to have sex with me again.
12) If a person goes into someone’s room or house, they assume the risk of sexual assault. If something happens later, she/he can’t claim that they were raped because they should have known not to go to those places.
13) Most rapes are committed by strangers lurking in the bushes or in a dark alley.
14) Just because a person goes into someone’s residence, does not mean he or she is consenting to sexual activity. An invitation/accepted invitation back to his or her place isn’t an invitation/consent to have sex.
15) A victim’s sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Without consent, it is still sexual assault.
16) Previous sexual contact, including previous consent to sex, is not consent for right now. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex in the past — if it’s nonconsensual this time, it’s rape.
17) Victims who do not fight back or do not say “no” have not been sexually assaulted.
18) Anytime someone is forced to have sex against their will, they have been sexually assaulted. A person who experiences trauma may freeze or go numb due to shock, fear, verbal threats or the size and strength of their attacker.
19) Victims of sexual assault exhibit a wide range of responses to the assault, which can include: calmness, hysteria, withdrawal, anger, apathy, denial and shock.
20) About 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger, meaning someone who was known to the victim. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey:
-38% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victim
-28% were an intimate
-7% were another relative
21) When a person is raped, there is often something the person could have done differently to prevent the attack.
22) Approximately 10 percent of rape victims are male, and 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted. Beliefs like, “men can fight off attackers,” or “men can’t be raped’ often keep male victims from getting help or reporting the crime.
23) It is impossible for a sexual encounter to be classified as rape if the person had an orgasm or experienced physical pleasure.
24) A homosexual person cannot be raped by someone of the same sex.
25) Men who rape boys are gay.
26) Victims of sexual assault may experience an orgasm or physical pleasure. The physiological responses that occur within the body are not always indicators of how a person feels emotionally.