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. ______________________________________________________________

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. _____________________________________________________________________________

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.  _____________________________________________________________________________

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.  _____________________________________________________________________________

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. _____________________________________________________________________________

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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