Debunking Common Myths About Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is an epidemic in our society, yet many misconceptions and myths surround it. For survivors of sexual assault, these myths can be incredibly harmful, leading to feelings of guilt and shame. This blog post will explore some of the most common myths about sexual assault—and the truth behind each one.
Myth #1: Most Sexual Assaults Are Committed by Strangers
This is a false assumption perpetuated by media coverage and headlines. In reality, most sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows—and often trusts. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), "more than 8 out of 10 victims of rape know their assailant(s)." It is vital for survivors to be aware that it is not just strangers who perpetrate sexual violence; it could be anyone from a family member to a colleague at work.
Myth #2: It's Easy to Tell Who Is a Sex Offender
Most people assume that sex offenders have specific outward characteristics or behaviors that make them easy to identify as dangerous. However, this could not be further from the truth. The NSVRC states that "sex offenders come from all walks of life, all economic backgrounds and all ethnicities" and "it is impossible to tell just by looking at someone whether or not they may commit a sexual offense." In other words, any individual could potentially commit an act of sexual violence–regardless of how they present themselves on the outside.
Myth #3: Dressing Provactively Provokes Sexual Assault
This myth implies that if a person dresses in revealing clothing or acts flirtatiously, then they are somehow responsible for any resulting acts of sexual violence perpetrated against them. The truth is that no one ever asks for or deserves to be sexually assaulted–no matter what they are wearing or how they are behaving at the time. The only person responsible for a sexual assault is the perpetrator. No matter what someone wears or does, it does not give anyone else permission to violate them sexually in any way.
Myth #4: Being Intoxicated Caused The Attack
The truth is that no matter how intoxicated someone may be, they are never responsible for being sexually assaulted. Just because someone is under the influence does not mean they have given consent or asked for something to happen to them. It is important to note that in many cases, alcohol and drugs can be used as tools by perpetrators to incapacitate a victim and make them more vulnerable.
Moreover, while intoxication can certainly affect decision-making, some individuals may be so intoxicated that they cannot provide any form of consent, meaning that any sexual contact would be considered rape or sexual assault. Additionally, if someone was drugged against their will before an attack, they could not provide informed consent either. It's also important to remember that even if someone initially consented to a particular activity before becoming intoxicated, once they reach a point where they can no longer make decisions for themselves, then any further activity would constitute rape or sexual assault.
Myth #5: It's not Considered Sexual Assault if the Person Does Not Fight Back
This myth likely stems from a misunderstanding of how consent works. Just because someone doesn't say "no" doesn't mean they are saying "yes." For consent to be given, both parties must be in a state where they can fully understand and agree to what is happening. This means that if someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they cannot consent. If someone is asleep or unconscious, they cannot consent. If someone is threatened or coerced, they cannot give consent. And even if all of those factors are not present, a person may still feel too scared or overwhelmed to say "no," even if they don't want to engage in sexual activity.
It's also important to remember that sexual assault is not always physical. It can also be verbal or emotional. For example, someone might repeatedly ask you for sex even after you've said no, or they might try to talk you into doing something sexual that you're not comfortable with. This kind of behavior is also considered sexual assault.
Sexual assault is an incredibly complex issue, and many misconceptions still need to be addressed and debunked for us as a society to move forward in our understanding and prevention efforts around this issue. Survivors should never feel ashamed or guilty about what happened because so many factors go into why something like this occurs—none of which are their fault or responsibility. We hope this blog post helped dispel some myths surrounding sexual assault so we can continue having meaningful conversations about preventing it from happening in the future!
When You Need Help After Sexual Assault
No one should ever have to endure sexual assault, yet it happens more often than we want to admit. That's why KMD Law is here for you - providing compassionate care and support during this challenging time. With us by your side, we will seek justice on behalf of the victims and hold perpetrators responsible for their actions.
If you or someone close has been affected by sexual assault, please don't hesitate to reach out today at (833) 456-3529 for a free and confidential consultation.