It is a sad fact that rape continues to be shrouded in stigma and misinformation in our society. Survivors of rape not only face physical and emotional turmoil following their sexual assault, they are likely to confront misunderstandings and outright lies about rape. These widespread misconceptions can make the healing process all the more arduous for a survivor.
What’s more, rape myths – which effectively perpetuate an acceptance of rape – contribute to our society’s already too high rape statistics.
It’s time to shed falsehoods in order to help survivors of rape recover, and to help protect others from enduring this traumatizing form of assault.
Attorney Jessica Pride has been successfully and compassionately representing assault victims for years. She understands the hardships rape survivors must overcome and how important it is to dispel these rape myths below.
Myth #1: Rape only happens between strangers.
Fact: An estimated 70-80% of survivors are raped by someone they know, including family, friends, partners, romantic interests or acquaintances.
Myth #2: We had sex before, so we can do it again anytime.
Fact: Rape can happen between romantic partners and even married couples. The fact remains that if one person does not agree to sex, regardless of their relationship or past sexual activity with their partner, it is rape.
Myth #3: She didn’t say “no.”
Fact: Rape is sex without consent. Consent means your partner must say “yes,” or clearly communicate their desire to engage in sexual activity in some other way. Not saying no is not the same as consent and is considered rape.
Myth #4: She didn’t fight back.
Fact: Just because a rape survivor did not physically defend themselves or attack the perpetrator does not mean that they consented to sex. Again, sex without consent, is rape.
Myth #5: I bought her dinner and drinks, so I deserve to have sex with her.
Fact: Your date does not owe you sexual acts no matter how much money you spend on her.
Myth #6: The woman was wearing a short skirt. She was basically asking for it.
Fact: A woman’s clothing is not a form of consent. No woman deserves to be assaulted for any reason, including for what she was wearing.
Myth #7: Intoxication affects your mental state and ability to consent. If you are too drunk to drive, you are probably too drunk to consent.
Fact: Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an excuse for assault. Regardless of whether the perpetrator was sober or not, rape is still a crime.
Myth #8: Men can’t control their sexual urges.
Fact: Men (and women) are absolutely capable of controlling their sexual desires and are expected to do so if sexual advances are not welcomed by their partner.
Myth #9: The woman was really drunk and flirting a lot.
Fact: No matter how inebriated or flirtatious a woman was, if she does not consent to sex, it is rape.
Myth #10: We were making out, so she knew sex was going to happen.
Fact: Consent to sex is an ongoing process. Each partner must agree to each sexual act as it occurs between them. Agreeing to one sexual act does not at all mean that the partner will agree to another.
Myth #11: A lot of women lie about being raped, especially when it involves someone they know.
Fact: Rape is a very real problem that happens all of the time. The FBI reports that only 2% of rape reports are given falsely, which is the same reporting statistic for all other felonies. Conversely, an estimated 35% of rapes go unreported, making it the most unreported violent crime.
Myth #12: Rape is an act of passion.
Fact: Rape is a gross act of violence that is punishable by law.
Myth #13: Rape does not affect that many people.
Fact: An astounding 1 in 8 women will be raped in her lifetime. It is also estimated that 1 out of every 4 girls, and 1 out of every 8 boys are sexually assaulted.
Myth #14: Only women are raped.
Fact: It is estimated that about 10% of rape survivors are men.
Taking a Stand for Truth & Justice
Rape survivors should not have to be doubly injured by withstanding prejudice and falsehoods after they have been assaulted. Together, let’s eradicate rape myths and foster a greater understanding of what constitutes this horrendous act.
It begins with educating the public about these rape myths and their truths. So, please share the information in this blog to help spread the word.
If you have survived assault, or know somebody who has, Jessica Pride would like to hear your story. You can call her at (619) 516-8166 or use the online form.
Any communication with her is free, at no obligation and 100% confidential. Jessica has built her reputable career on a passion for fighting for assault victims, and would like to do the same for you.