Myth: The victim is in some way responsible for the crime.
Fact: It is not uncommon for people to say, "What was she doing out alone?" or "She shouldn't have been drinking" or "She shouldn't have been wearing those clothes."
The reality is, a rapist is responsible for the rape. Sexual violence is never the appropriate consequence for going out alone, drinking, or wearing certain clothing, any more than banks should be blamed for bank robberies because they intentionally keep a lot of money in their vaults.
Those who blame the victim also fail to take into account that most victims of sexual assault or rape are assaulted by someone they know and believe to be trustworthy; that many sexual assaults occur in the victims' homes where they believed themselves safe; that victims often are children or the elderly; and that the crime is planned in detail and the victim is powerless to change the plan.
Myth: "It can't happen to me." Rape is an isolated, infrequent event that only happens to certain kinds of people.
Fact: Anyone can be sexually assaulted. Studies show that sexual assault happens to people of all ages, people of color, lesbians/gays, people with disabilities, and people of every racial, ethnic, religious, economic and social background.
Myth: "She asked for it." Women often provoke rape by their own behavior: wearing low-cut clothing, going out alone, staying out late, being drunk, kissing, etc.
Fact: No one asks to be sexually assaulted. People have the right to be safe from sexual violence. The offender, not the survivor, must be held responsible for this crime.
Myth: Most sexual assaults are committed by strangers in out of the way places.
Fact: Over 60% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows. Over 40% of sexual assaults occur in the victim's home and another 20% take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative.
Myth: Women frequently "cry rape".
Fact: The FBI reports that false accusations account for only 2% of all reported sexual assaults. This is no higher than false reports for any other crime.
Myth: The best way for survivors to get over a sexual assault is to act like it didn't happen, to put it behind them, get on with their lives and be 'normal' again.
Fact: Speaking out about sexual assault might be an essential part of the healing process for survivors. However, no survivor should ever be forced to speak, publicly or privately. All survivors have a right to support and validation no matter where they are in their individual healing process or how long ago the assault occurred.This information provided by, or adapted from information provided by, Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service.