Myths vs Facts: Sexual Assault
Find out about common myths and facts related to sexual assault.
If you don’t fight back, you can’t really say it was unwanted sexual contact.
This is a myth. Silence, not fighting back, or not resisting does not equal consent. Experts agree that those who are experiencing sexual assault should trust their instincts and do what they believe will most likely keep them alive.
If someone experiences unwanted sexual advances while drunk, that person is at least somewhat responsible for any resulting sexual misconduct.
This is a myth. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an invitation for nonconsensual sexual activity. A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not cause himself or herself to be assaulted; others choose to take advantage of the situation.
Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
This is a fact. A study of sexual victimization of college students shows that 90 percent of victims knew the person who offended them. Most often, a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, classmate, friend, acquaintance, or coworker sexually victimized the person.
Some of the primary reasons why victims don’t report offenses include the fear of not being believed, retaliation, and not wanting anyone to know.
This is a fact. Other reasons include not wanting more people to know and doubting authority figures will take action.