Dean of Students

Myths and Realities

Myth: Rape is a crime committed by strangers jumping out of bushes out of dark alleys.
Reality: More than 75% of all reported rapes are committed by acquaintances. The media tends to disproportionately cover stranger rapes that happen in your area thus giving the false impression that stranger rapes are more common.

Myth: Only women can be sexually assaulted.
Reality: Although the majority of rape victims are women and women are ten times more likely then men to be assaulted, many men are victims of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Myth: Victims of rape often ask to be raped by the way they were acting or the way they were dressed.
Reality: Nobody asks to be raped. Nobody. The way a person behaves is their choice. The way someone dresses, talks or behaves is never justification for being sexually assaulted.

Myth: People who rape are psychopaths.
Reality: The majority of rapists are actually not mentally ill nor do they have a violent criminal past.

Myth: The only way a rapist can force a person to perform sexual acts is by using physical violence or a weapon.
Reality: A weapon or physical assault is not necessary for a sexual assault to occur. Body weight, psychological pressure, threat of violence, fear, drugs or alcohol are some examples of how someone can take advantage of a person without using a weapon.

Myth: People who don't fight back have not been raped.
Reality: There are many reasons why a person might not fight back during a sexual assault: drugs or alcohol, size differential, fear of retribution, paralysis are common reasons why someone might not be able to fight back.

Myth: A person who pays for dinner or buys someone drinks or gifts is entitled to sex.
Reality: No one is entitled to having sex with another person. A person must always have the consent of his/her partner before engaging in or proceeding with any sexual contact.

Myth: When a man becomes sexually aroused he has to have sex.
Reality: Men are not biologically predestined to have uncontrollable sexual urges. Most men can and should be expected to handle their sexual urges.

Myth: If a perpetrator is intoxicated at the time of an assault, s/he cannot be held accountable or accused of rape.
Reality: A person is responsible for his/her actions no matter how intoxicated s/he is at the time of the assault. Being drunk is not an excuse for taking advantage of someone sexually.