Offender is the name given to someone who commits a crime, like sexual assault and abuse. Unfortunately there are a lot of myths about offenders and sexual assault and family violence. It’s important to break through these and get to the facts.
Myth — “Rapists are strangers lurking in the shadows”
Fact — Most victims/survivors know the offender. It may be someone in their family, a family friend, neighbour or sports coach. This means that a lot of these crimes take place in people’s homes.
Myth — “Men who rape other men are gay”
Fact — Most rapists believe they are heterosexual . Sexual assault is about violence, anger and control over another person. It is not about lust or sexual attraction.
Myth — “Rapists are sex crazed psychos”
Fact — A lot of rapists are ‘ordinary’ people from various backgrounds. They don’t all suffer from a mental illness or ‘uncontrollable sexual urges’. Everyone can control their sexual urges if they want to, and no urge ever gives someone the right to rape another person. In fact, most rapes are planned.
Myth — “Women don’t sexually assault other people”
Fact — Although most offenders are male, there are incidents of women assaulting men.
Myth — “Violent men can’t control their anger”
Fact — Everyone can control their anger if they want to. Violent men control their anger around other people. Being violent with their partner isn’t violence that ‘gets out of hand’.