Five Myths about Sexual Violence

1. Men cannot be raped*

 The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network reports that 10 percent of all rape victims are male.  One in 71 men in the United States has been raped in his lifetime.


2. Having sex with a person who is too high or drunk to know what is happening is not rape**

According to St. Joe’s Common Myths report, “Having sex with someone who cannot give their consent is rape and punishable by law.”


3. Most rapists are strangers*

Contrary to beliefs perpetuated by popular culture, most attackers are not hiding and waiting to jump out at people. “On college campuses, nine out of 10 female victims know their attackers,” reported

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in acts of rape against women, 51.1 percent of perpetrators were intimate partners, 40.8 percent were acquaintances, 13.5 percent were strangers, and 12.8 percent were family members. In acts of rape against men, 52.4 percent of perpetrators were acquaintances and 15.1 percent were strangers.


4. Only certain kinds of people are victims of abuse and assault**

“Sexual assault and physical/emotional abuse happen to all types of people regardless of social class, religion, ethnicity, race, or educational level,” states St. Joe’s Common Myths report.


5. It is impossible to rape a spouse or significant other*

No matter the relationship, consent is not implied in the future. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for six weeks, six months, or 60 years. Consent is never implied.


*Adapted from

**From “Common Myths,” Saint Joseph’s University: Rape Education and Prevention


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