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Myths and Facts

There can be many misconceptions regarding the crime of sexual assault. For example, victims are often blamed or blame themselves for causing the assault to occur. The following myths and facts will hopefully give you a greater understanding of sexual assault.

MYTH: Sexual assault is a "crime of passion"

FACT: Sexual assault is a crime of violent intent. Often the offenders view the assault as a way to gain power and control in their lives.

MYTH: Sexual assault always occurs in isolated areas.

FACT: An offender needs two things to carry out the attack: opportunity and a victim. The offender has to get you to a place where there will be interference or interruptions.

MYTH: Sexual assault happens only to sexually attractive young girls. If they wear provocative clothing, they were "asking for it".

FACT: Reports of sexual assault include victims of both sexes. Anyone, of any age, can be a victim.

MYTH: When a victim says no, s/he really means "pursue me".

FACT: This implies that at some level the victim wants to have intercourse, and that the attacker is expected to overcome his/her initial refusal. He may believe that victims need to be "roughed up" a bit to get turned on.

MYTH: It could never happen to me.

FACT: Victims from the ages of 6 months to 96 years have been assaulted, regardless of race, religion, occupation or physical appearance.

MYTH: Rapists are creepy looking me who hang out in dark alleys.

FACT: In 90% of sexual assaults, the attacker is an acquaintance.

MYTH: The rapist is a sexually unfulfilled man carried away by a sudden, uncontrollable urge.

FACT: Sexual assault is a question of power, not passion, and men can control themselves.

MYTH: Sexual abuse of children seldom happens.

FACT: One in four girls and one in ten boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old.

MYTH: Rapists rarely repeat their crime.

FACT: Most often offenders do repeat the crime.

MYTH: A person can not charge his/her spouse.

FACT: It is no longer legal for a person to force sexual acts on his/her spouse.

MYTH: Males who are sexually assaulted do not suffer to the same extent.

FACT: Sexual assault is a crime of violence and ALL victims suffer.

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