Myths vs Facts

Common Myths about Sexual Violence:

MYTH

If a woman doesn't put up a fight, she wasn't actually raped.

FACT

In most cases, the victim is unable to fight back do to trauma, impairment, fear, or
other factors.

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MYTH

Sexual assault and rape are usually "he said/she said" communication problems.

FACT

There are many ways to say "no," both verbally and nonverbally. Assailants chose to
continue despite receiving clear messages that the other person is uncomfortable.
They chose to try to "make them relax" rather than backing off. Many
perpetrators will testify that the sex was consensual,
minimizing the extent to which the survivor was pressures or coerced.

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MYTH

Women can avoid being raped by dressing sensibly, not acting "sexy," not getting drunk, and not going out alone at night.

FACT

There is no causal link between a woman's clothing and social behavior and crimes of violence. Nothing a person does or wears causes a brutal crime like sexual assault.

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MYTH

Only attractive young women are assaulted.

FACT

Survivors range in age from infancy to old age, and their appearance is seldom a consideration. Assailants often choose victims who seem most vulnerable to attack: old persons, children, physically or emotionally disabled persons, substance abusers, and street persons.

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MYTH

Many people lie about being raped.

FACT

Only 2-8% of sexual assault cases are based on false accusation. This percentage of unsubstantiated cases is the same as with many other reported crimes.

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MYTH

Assailants are usually crazed psychopaths or leering men on a dark street corner.

FACT

Assailants can be charming, convincing, or even someone you know intimately, like a coworker, a friend or a family member.

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MYTH

Men rape because they cannot control their sexual urges.

FACT

There is no medical evidence to substantiate that men biologically have uncontrollable sexual urges. Rape is an act of violence committed out of desire for power and control.

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MYTH

In most cases, black men attack white women.

FACT

In most sexual assault cases, the assailant and victim are of the same racial background.

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MYTH

It is impossible for a boyfriend or girlfriend to sexually assault their partner.

FACT

Regardless of relationship status, if a person does not consent to sexual activity, he or she is being sexually assaulted.

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MYTH

Sexual assault is a crime of passion and lust.

FACT

Sexual assault is a crime of violence. Assailants seek to dominate, humiliate and punish their victims, and most sexual assaults are planned events.

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MYTH

A person who has really been assaulted will be hysterical.

FACT

Survivors exhibit a spectrum of emotional responses to assault: calm, hysteria, laughter, anger, apathy, shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way.

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MYTH

It is impossible to sexually assault a man.

FACT

Men fall victim for the same reasons as women: they are overwhelmed by threats or acts of physical and emotional violence.

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MYTH

Men who get an erection or ejaculate during a sexual assault gave consent or enjoyed the assault.

FACT

Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that can't be controlled and can even result from stress. An erection or ejaculation does not equal consent.

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MYTH

A "real" man can and should always be able to resist an assault.

FACT

It is common for both men and women to freeze during a sexual assault, and in some cases drugs, alcohol or the presence of a weapon or the threat of other force or injury can prevent someone from fighting their assailant.

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MYTH

Jealousy in a relationship is a sign of love.

FACT

When a person continually accuses their partner of flirting or cheating, and is suspicious of everyone in their partner's life, it is possessive and controlling behavior, not love.

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MYTH

When someone hits their girlfriend or boyfriend, that person must have provoked the behavior in some way.

FACT

While anger can be provoked during an argument, abuse is a choice the perpetrator makes to establish control during the argument. It is an intentional act or set of acts designed to force the abused partner to submit to the will of the abuser.

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MYTH

People in abusive relationships stay because they enjoy being abused.

FACT

People who are abused by their partner do not stay in the relationship because they enjoy maltreatment. They may stay for practical or emotional reasons including love, fear of reprisal, economic factors, social isolation or shame, or to keep a family together.

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MYTH

A relationship is not abusive if there is no physical abuse.

FACT

Perpetrators of violence maintain control over the victim by using physical, sexual, economic or emotional violence, or threats of violence.

Contact Information

Student Wellness Center
North Shepler, Room 101
2800 W. Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73505
Ph (580)581-6725
Fax (580)581-6733
Director Jill Melrose
jmelrose@cameron.edu
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