What is a Myth?

A ‘myth’ is a commonly held belief, idea or explanation that is not true. Myths arise from people’s need to make sense of acts that are senseless, violent or disturbing.

MYTH: Rape only occurs between strangers down dark alleyways

FACT: The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. In fact it is estimated that 80% of women who are raped or sexually assaulted know their attackers and that 53% of assaults are committed by a current or ex-partner.

MYTH: If the victim didn’t scream, fight or get injured, it wasn’t rape

FACT:  Some sexual assaults do result in injury. However in traumatic situations it is a common response to freeze rather than fight, scream or run away. Many people assume they would be able to fight someone off if they were assaulted however the ‘freeze and flop’ reaction is an unconscious decision.

Male victims often feel particularly guilty about this but they shouldn’t.  It is entirely natural.  Victims often ‘flop’, a decision made by their sub-conscious brain in order that they will survive the threat.  As a result there is often no sign of violence, torn clothing or witnesses who heard screaming.

MYTH: Men or women who drink, flirt or wear tight clothes are probably ‘asking for it’.

FACT: Drinking, flirting and/or wearing tight clothing is not a crime – rape is. There is only one person to blame and that is the offender. Everyone has a right to enjoy themselves regards of their actions or what they are wearing. No means No.

MYTH: Only gay men get raped…

FACT: Men of all sexual orientations get raped. Rape is not a ‘gay crime’ and is not separate.

MYTH: Sex workers cannot be raped…

FACT: Sex workers have the same rights with regards to consent as anyone. The transactions they negotiate with clients are for consensual activities, not rape. No consent = Rape or Sexual Assault.

MYTH: If a victim doesn’t report to the police immediately it wasn’t rape…

FACT: Rape and sexual assault is under reported. The trauma of rape can cause feelings of shame and guilt which may dissuade a victim from reporting an assault to police. We understand it takes a lot of courage to report an assault to the police, Sexual Assault Referral Centre or to even disclose the assault to a friend or family member.

MYTH: It isn’t rape if my partner has sex with me even when I’ve said no..

FACT: Just because you’re in a relationship or married to someone it does not entitle them to have sex with you when they want. Sex without the consent of both parties is rape. Research shows that you are more likely to be sexually assaulted by a current or ex-partner than a stranger.