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Florida Gulf Coast University

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ARISE Assault and Rape Information, Support and Education

Myths and Facts About Sexual Assault

 
 

Myths

  • Rape is about sex and sexual attractiveness. And this is a topic of concern only for women.
  • If you get drunk, flirt, dress/act provocatively or are vulnerable and alone, it’s your fault.
  • If a woman really didn’t want it, she would fight off her attacker (in reality, the shock or fear may overwhelm him/her.)
  • You will get AIDS. (False- there are no guarantees, but many sexual diseases may be prevented or treated with immediate care.)
  • People will blame you. (Admittedly, some may, but it is still not your fault.)
  • You will never have a “normal” relationship, children or a family.
  • Everyone will “know.” (You choose whom you tell.)
  • “No one will want me.” These are FALSE.

 

Facts

  • Rape/sexual assault is about physical violence and domination, not sex.
  • Alcohol is involved in MANY incidents. More than one drink per hour affects a person’s judgment and vulnerability.
  • The inability to consent (usually involves drugs/alcohol, mental status/disability or physical disability) to a sexual encounter is NOT an automatic consent.
  • One out of 4 women is sexually assaulted at some point in her life. Many know their attacker.
  • One out of 6 men is sexually assaulted at some point in his life.
  • Threats, coercion, promise of promotion/gifts and harassment may be part of a sexual assault experience.
  • Verbal abuse may be as detrimental as physical abuse. Help is available.
  • An incident of sexual assault may affect a person months or years later.
  • It is your right whether or not you choose to report this. (But please seek support.)
  • A survivor may appear to consent when faced with the threat to one’s life or health.
  • You do what you have to in order to preserve your life.
  • The fault lies only with the perpetrator. Urges are controllable and sex is not