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Myth or Fact

Myth

A rapist is a stranger.

Fact

A report has revealed that more than 8 out of 10 rapes involve an attack by someone the victim knows; for example, friend, lover, colleague, husband or ex- partner.

Myth

Rape only happens in dark alleys.

Fact

60% of women are attacked inside a building, and for 31% of women the rape occurs in their own home – the most common place of all.

Myth

Women get raped because they are dressed provocatively.

Fact

If a man decides to rape someone, it makes no difference what she is wearing.

Myth

Rape only happens to certain types of people.

Fact

Rape is perpetrated against disabled and able-bodied people, against both sexes, all classes, all races, all cultures and all ages.

Myth

Rapists are monsters or maniacs.

Fact

Rapists are ordinary people; many are respected members of the community, and in 1980 in England and Wales, only 2% of convicted rapists were considered to be in need of psychiatric treatment.

Myth

Rape is a crime of sexual needs or uncontrollable urges.

Fact

Men can, and do, control their sexual urges. Rape is a crime of violence, control, degradation and intimidation – it is not about sex but about power. The vast majority of rapes are carefully planned.

Myth

Women/Men say “no” but they mean “yes”.

Fact

When women/men say “no” they mean “no”. Sex without consent is rape.

Myth

She/He didn’t struggle so she/he was not raped.

Fact

Most victims are too afraid to struggle because of threats of violence if they make a sound.  Sometimes, the mind and body can ‘freeze’.

Myth

Women enjoy rape. Some women ask for it. Women lead the rapist on.

Fact

It is handy to be able to blame the woman in this way – it lets the attackers off the hook and it helps other people to feel safe. If you believe that women are to blame when they suffer rape, then you might imagine that you can protect yourself by being careful and sensible. The truth is that an attack can take place against any woman, at any time, and in any place. Suffering rape is a traumatic violation. The victim is often afraid that her attacker will kill her. She may try to calm the rapist down by pretending that she is enjoying it. Rape is the sole responsibility of the rapist, regardless of anything a woman may do to survive the attack.

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