Myths about Rape

Myth: Women “ask for it” by their dress or actions.

  • FACT Rapists look for victims they perceive as vulnerable, not women who dress in a particular way. Assuming that women provoke attacks by where they are or the way they dress is victim-blaming. No person, whatever their behavior, “deserves” to be raped.
  • Myth: Women who are drunk are willing to engage in any kind of sexual activity.

    • FACT The fact that a woman has been drinking does not imply consent. Alcohol and drugs can render a woman incapable of consent.

    Myth: Women secretly enjoy being raped.

    • FACT No woman/ man/ child enjoys being raped. It is a brutal intrusion on the mind, body and spirit that can have lasting trauma.

    Myth: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification. Most rape are spontaneous acts of passion where the assailant cannot control him/herself.

    • FACT Rape is a premeditated act of violence, not a spontaneous act of passion. 71% of rapes are planned in advance. 60% of convicted rapists were married or had regular sexual partners at the time of the assault. Men can control their sexual impulses. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.

    Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs between strangers.

    • Fact: By some estimates, over 70% of rape victims know their attackers. The rapist may be a relative, friend, co-worker, date or other acquaintance.

    Myth: Women incite men to rape.

    • Fact: Research has found that the vast majority of rapes are planned. Rape is the responsibility of the rapist alone. Women, children and men of every age, physical type and demeanor are raped. Opportunity is the most important factor determining when a given rapist will rape.

    Myths About Rape

    Copyright 1993 Focus on the Family.