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  • (Please click on the myths to view the facts)

  •  Because of a few violent incidents, the issue of rape tends to be over-dramatized.

    Fact: Over one-third of all women in this country will be sexually assaulted or abused during their lifetimes.

     Husbands cannot rape their wives.

    Fact: Rape occurs whenever sexual contact is not mutual, when choice is taken away. Any man who disregards a woman's "no" is raping her. [Note: Prior to the July 1986 law reform in Virginia, marital rape was not a crime.]

     Men cannot be raped.

    Fact: Men, both heterosexual and homosexual, can be and are raped -- usually by other men. 1 in 6 boys are victims of sexual assault before the age of 18.

     Most rapes occur in dark alleys, or to hitchhikers.

    Fact: Over 33% of rapes occur after an assailant has forced entry into a home; Over 50% of rapes occur in a residence.

     Rape is always a one-on-one encounter.

    Fact: Only 57% of rapes involve only one assailant. 16% involve 2 rapists and 27% involve 3 or more rapists.

     Rape results from an uncontrollable sexual urge of biological origin. Men rape impulsively and out of biological need.

    Fact: Rape is a criminal act of violence, using sex as a weapon. Men rape to express hostility and to dominate. Since most convicted rapists are married or have available sex partners, rape is not primarily a sexual experience. Men rape because it allows them to express anger and to feel powerful by controlling another person. Studies show that 50% of rapes are planned, not impulsive. This supports the view that rape is learned behavior and does not arise from biological need.

     Rapes are usually reported.

    Fact: Rape is probably one of the most underreported crimes; researchers estimate that between 50 to 90% of rape cases go unreported.

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