Facts vs. Myths about Rape

Many people think they know how they would react to being raped. They may imagine that they would fight back, scream or run away. People will assume it will be how they have seen it in a TV program. In reality many people find that the rape itself and their reaction to it is not what they imagined at all.

Take a look at the following information about rape and sexual assault.

Most rapists are strangers

False

Many people think rape is committed by strangers who use alleyways and/or bushes late at night to carry out the rape. The truth is that most victims of rape know the person who has raped them. Rape is often committed by family members, friends or work colleagues. This may leave the victim unsure as to what to do or wondering if they somehow invited the rape to happen.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened

She/he was raped because they were being provocative

False

Many people feel that they are to blame because of their own behaviors. People question whether they unknowingly gave a signal that they were 'interested' or think the way they were dressed was to blame. What you wear, how you dance or inviting someone in for coffee does not give anyone the right to rape.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened.

Male rape is a gay crime

False

Rape or sexual assault is about power and control rather than sexuality. Perpetrators and victims of male rape often identify as heterosexual.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened.

A rape victim will have physical injuries

False

Many rape victims have no physical injuries and or damage to clothing. All rape victims' experiences are different some will have psychological, some emotional, some physical and some all three. Some people may feel they are not experiencing any of the above.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened

Rape cannot happen between husband and wife

False

Rape within marriage and relationships whether straight or gay do occur. If your partner, husband or wife has forced you into having sex with them, it is still a serious sexual offence, it is against the law.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened

I was drunk, it's my own fault

False

Many people believe that they are to blame because they had too much to drink or were under the influence of other substances. If you were too intoxicated to say yes or say no, it is still against the law if you do not consent.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened

You can only report rape to the police

False

SARC's offer options previously unavailable. For example a SARC can support you through an examination to collect evidence without involving the police. This can 'buy' some time for you to make up your mind about reporting without losing evidence. See the options link for more details.

This false belief often makes it more difficult for people to come forward and say what has happened