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The Victim 
  • (Click on the myths to view the facts)

  •  A prostitute will not be traumatized by a rape. After all, having sex is her job.

    Fact: A sexual assault can be just as traumatic to an experienced prostitute as to anyone else, and she has as much right to treatment, protection, and justice. Remember, rape is a crime of violence, not simply a sexual act.

     If a woman agrees to some degree of sexual intimacy, she wants to have sexual intercourse.

    Fact: Any person has the right to agree to any degree of sexual intimacy they feel comfortable with at that moment, and to not go any further if they do not wish to. A person may feel comfortable with one kind of sexual activity but not wish another - or she may decide she's not really ready for further intimacy.

     In a rape, the person who is raped is the only one who suffers.

    Fact: Sexual assault affects the victim's family, friends, and neighbors. The fear of sexual assault affects all women. The economic costs of sexual assault affect us all. Sexual assault is a societal problem.

     It is best not to tell anyone if you are raped.

    Fact: Women who keep their feelings and thoughts bottled up inside tend to be more likely to have long-lasting negative psychological effects from the rape.

     Sexual assault happens to careless people who are 'asking for it' by the way they dress or where they are.

    Fact: No one asks to be assaulted. All kinds of people, young and old, are sexually assaulted in all kinds of places and at all times. The idea that victims provoke assault by "being in the wrong place at the wrong time" assumes that they have no right to be as free as you. This myth shifts the blame from the perpetrator to the victim of this crime. No one "deserves" to be sexually assaulted.

     Sexual assault is impossible without some cooperation from the victim

    Fact: Offenders are willing to use all the force necessary to accomplish penetration, even when it is physically injurious to the victim. Even a struggling victim can be penetrated if she is pinned under the assailant. In cases where the victim does not resist because she fears for her life, her submission is not the same as cooperation. If she chooses to cooperate because of the perpetrator's threats against her or others, her cooperation is not the same as consent.

     Since women have rape fantasies, they often derive sexual pleasure from being raped.

    Fact: Most women do have sexual fantasies which involve being seduced, or forced into sexual acts. This is with a person of their choice and under circumstances in which they are in control (it's their fantasy!). These fantasies have little to do with what rape is really like and do not include the pain and violence associated with rape.

     When a woman says no, she really means yes.

    Fact: No means NO! Without her consent, it is sexual assault. Everyone has the right to control what happens to one's body.

     Women often do not report rape because they know they provoked it.

    Fact: Rape can happen to women of all ages, races, or socioeconomic groups. Being raped has nothing to do with a woman's past sexual experiences or lack of them.

     Women often lie about being raped.

    Fact: Police statistics show that the number of falsely reported rapes is no greater than that of other crimes - about two percent.

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