Myths & Facts

Myths perpetuate the problem and encourages society to blame the victim and worse, excuses the actions of the rapist. Myths allow the rapists to get away with their crimes and discourages victims from making police reports or getting real help.

Debunking Myths About Rape

Myth: Only pretty, young women are sexually assaulted.
Reality: Rape victims can be of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly and appearance is seldom a consideration. Rapists choose to attack those who are the vulnerable. A rapist rapes when there is an opportunity and has nothing to do with looks or age.

Myth: Girls who wear sexy clothes or flirt provoke men to rape.
Reality: A rapist chooses his victim for their vulnerability and accessibility, without regard to her physical appearance or behavior. The only person to blame for rape is the rapist. Children, elderly women, and modestly-dressed women or those with head scarves have also been raped. Rape is not related to the way a girl dresses or the way she acts. This is a myth that excuses the rapist’s behavior by blaming the victim.

Myth: Rape is an uncontrollable act of lust. Most rapes are spontaneous acts of passion where the assailant cannot control himself.
Reality: The vast majority of all rapes are planned. Rape is not about lust. Rape is a premeditated act of violence and not a spontaneous act of passion. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger and control, not sexual gratification.

Myth: Women often lie about getting raped.
Reality: Research indicates that the rate of false reports of rape is 2%-3%, no different than that of other crimes. Global research has shown that only 1 in 10 rape cases are reported and of that, only 1 in 10 reported cases get taken to court.

Myth: Most women are raped by strangers.
Reality: Police statistics tells us that only a small percentage of rapes are committed by strangers. In 80% of the cases, the woman knows the rapist. In those cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, friend, or even family member.

Myth: Most rapes happen in dark alleys, deserted areas, and other dangerous places.
Reality: Statistics show that 69% of rapes happen in homes and buildings. That said, women should still be careful at night, on quiet streets, or in poorly lit areas. Nevertheless, it is important to know that women are also at risk of being raped in places familiar to them.

Myth: It is impossible for a husband to sexually assault his wife.
Reality: Regardless of the marital or social relationship, if a woman does not consent to sexual activity she is being sexually assaulted. Some countries have laws against rape in a marriage. Many women who suffer from domestic violence have experienced some form of sexual abuse within their marriage. In Malaysia, it is against the law for a man to hurt his wife sexually.

Myth: A woman can prevent rape if she really wanted to.
Reality: Most rapes involve physical force and/or threats of force. Many victims do not fight back due to fear, shock, or the perception that fighting back will lead to greater harm. Because rape is a potentially life-threatening crime, whatever the rape victim does to survive the assault is an appropriate action.

Myth: A rape victim will be hysterical.
Reality: Rape survivors can exhibit a range of emotional responses to an assault. She may be calm, withdrawn, or hysterical. She may also react with laughter anger, apathy, or shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way.

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