Common Myths About Sexual Assault

Myth Fact
Most victims of sexual assault are attacked by strangers. Approximately two out of three sexual assaults are committed by someone that the victim knows, such as a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, coworker, classmate, or partner.
Sexual assault is usually the result of miscommunication or a mistake. Sexual assault is a crime, not a mistake. It is insulting to survivors of sexual assault to dismiss it as a miscommunication.
Sexual assault cannot happen when the people involved are dating or in a relationship. Sexual assault is possible even when the parties involved are dating, or even married. Having a relationship is not consent.
People who commit acts of sexual violence are mentally ill. Very few perpetrators are mentally incompetent and/or out of touch with reality.
Victims of sexual assault must have "asked for it" by being careless, acting/dressing provocatively, or getting drunk or high. No one "asks" to be sexually assaulted. You have the right to dress and act how you want without fearing for your safety. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.
If the victim did not physically struggle or fight, it wasn’t really assault. Assailants will use many forms of coercion, threats, and manipulation to avoid a struggle. They might also use drugs or alcohol to incapacitate their victims.
Only women can be sexually assaulted. Anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of their gender. In fact, one out of every ten rape victims are male.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals are more likely to commit sexual assault. There is no evidence to support the idea that LGBTQ people are more likely to be sex offenders. In fact, sex offenders are disproportionately likely to be heterosexual men.
Rape is caused by uncontrollable sexual urges. Rape is an act of power and control, not sex. Thinking of sexual assault as consensual sex "taken too far" allows us to blame the victim and not hold the assailant accountable. Perpetrators generally plan their attacks, proving that it is not a "crime of passion." Instead, the perpetrator is seeking to exert their power and control over their victims.
Most reports of sexual assault are fake. Only 2-10% of rapes are false reports. This rate does not exceed the false reporting rates of other crimes.