Unfortunately there are a lot of myths about girls and sexual assault
and family violence. It’s important to break through these and get to the facts.
Myth — “Girls ask for it”
Fact — No one ever asks or wants to be raped. This myth makes the victim feel they are responsible, not the offender . There is only one person who is accountable — the offender. Every girl has the right to dress and behave as she chooses without having to fear sexual assault.
Myth — “Sexual assault and rape are not that common”
Fact — Sexual assault and rape are far too common. It is estimated that one in 3 girls are sexually assaulted by the age of 18 and one in 6 boys by the time they are 18.
Myth — “Girls make up stories about rape to get attention”
Fact — False reports are minimal (under 2%). Rape is one of the most under reported crimes. It is estimated that only one in 10 girls report sexual assault. They are afraid of being judged, not being believed or having to report against someone they know.
Myth — “Girls don’t sexually assault other people”
Fact — Although most offenders are male, there are incidents of girls assaulting other people.
Myth — “Victims enjoy being raped”
Fact — No one enjoys being sexually assaulted. In some cases, the victim’s body may respond sexually during the assault, but this is because of how the body works, and is as out of your control as sneezing. This probably upsets the victim even more. Rape is about power. The offender uses aggression to humiliate and degrade the victim. Victims can suffer terror, shock, illness and injury during and after the assault. Longer term effects include loss of self esteem, on-going psychological problems, and relationship difficulties etc.
Myth — “Rape in relationships is not really rape”
Fact — Rape can take place in marriages and relationships through physical, psychological or emotional threats. Some people are forced by their partners into unwanted sexual acts. This is still sexual assault and is a reportable crime.
Myth — “Rape victims are damaged goods”
Fact — Victims can and do survive the assault, and can gain strength and self respect in the process. This myth again blames the victim and is a hard one to break, but attitudes are slowly changing as people learn more about sexual assault.