rape - fact vs. fiction

Rape: Fact vs. Fiction

There are many misconceptions about sexual assault. People in every segment of society have developed their own "ideas" about rape and rape victims. The "blame it on the victim" attitude makes it difficult for the victim to seek help and to begin the recovery process. It is through the myths and misconceptions about rape that not only do many women increase their chances of becoming a victim, but many others are allowed to turn the victim into the villain.

Here are some of the common and inappropriate beliefs about rape:

  1. FICTION: Rape won't happen to me or someone I know.

    FACT: One in every six women you know will be a victim of a sexual assault. Men, women and children...old people, young people...people from every socioeconomic group, every religion have been victimized. Rape is the most unreported crime in the United States. It occurs every five minutes.
  2. FICTION: Rape does not happen at schools like ours.

    FACT: Every school is a potential ground for rapes to occur. The threat can come from people on or off campus.
  3. FICTION: The rapist is almost always a stranger to the victim.

    FACT: Most women are raped by someone they know - a date, an acquaintance, a neighbor, a relative. These rapes generally go unreported; in fact almost half never get reported. Any woman forced into having sex against her wishes has been victimized by rape. If the rape occurs with a friend or relative, the victim often feels somewhat "responsible" for the act and is unwilling to "confess" it to others and is discouraged from seeking professional help.
  4. FICTION: Men rape because they want sex. They are usually frustrated because they have limited opportunities for sex. Many are maniacs or psychopaths.

    FACT: The motivation for rape is the need to have power and to control. Forcing a woman to have sex against her will is an act of aggression and violence. The rapist is angry and feels the need to dominate and uses sex as his weapon.
  5. FICTION: Women really want to be raped. They "ask for it" by the way they dress or act.

    FACT: No person ever wants to be a victim of a violent, life-threatening act. Most victims have feelings of terror, humiliation and degradation.