Common Myths Concerning Sexual Assault


Common Myths Concerning Sexual Assault

Myth: Only women are sexually assaulted or raped, and only by men.
Reality: Both men and women can be sexually assaulted or raped, and assailants can be male or female with any sexual orientation.

Myth: Someone who was drinking or drunk when sexually assaulted is at least partially to blame.
Reality: Sexual assault survivors are never responsible for the attack, no matter what, no matter how much alcohol was consumed. Responsibility lies with the perpetrator; the survivor is never responsible for the assailant's behavior. Alcohol may increase the risk of sexual assault, and may make someone incapable of giving consent or protecting themselves, but it is not the cause of the assault.

Myth: It's not rape if the couple is dating or is married.
Reality: Unwanted sexual activity in any relationship qualifies as sexual assault.

Myth: Most victims are raped by strangers, in unfamiliar places or on dark nights.
Reality: It is estimated that 80-85% of rapists are known to the adult they attack. "Acquaintance rape" by a friend, new acquaintance, or coworker is frequent, particularly among young, single women. Statistics show that 50% of sexual assaults occur in or around a woman's home, 50% during the day.

Myth: Women often falsely accuse men of sexual assault or rape (for example, to get back at them, or because they regret or feel guilty about having sex).
Reality: Nearly all rapes are truthfully reported, and, in fact, rapes are vastly underreported.

Myth: Rape has to do with sex and passion.
Reality: Rape has to do with interpersonal violence.

Myth: Rapists have psychological problems.
Reality: Most assailants are males with no history of mental disorder.

Myth: Perpetrators of sexual assault come largely from certain races or backgrounds.
Reality: Men and women of all races, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, economic and social classes are represented among assailants.

Myth: Only young women are at risk.
Reality: Women of all ages are at risk, and 1 in 4 women will be assaulted in the course of her lifetime.

Myth: If the victim didn't fight or try to run away, or there was no weapon or injuries sustained, rape did not occur.
Reality: Threats of violence are a weapon, and a woman may not resist vigorously for fear of injury or death.

 reposted from:  2006 Stanford University

For more information please contact me directly at:  (206)230-9050,   or email me from my page: Strongheart  

About the Author:
MeLisa Turcott Strongheart is a Master Instructor and owner at Mercer Island Martial Arts. She is a 7th Dan Master Instructor. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling. She brings these two areas of specialization to her work with families, children, teens, and in designing curriculum.

Master Strongheart emphasizes and has taught thousands of students the value and power of respect. Respect for oneself, others, and the community.

(MIMA), located on Mercer Island between Bellevue and Seattle in Washington is celebrating 24 years on the island in 2021. MIMA's curriculum is intentionally designed to build fitness, flexibility, self-defense, as well as to create a milieu that engenders physical and psychological growth, respect, courage, community activism and leadership.

MIMA has programs for families to practice side by side, as well as adult, teen, and children's classes. Also offers before and after school, and summer camp programs for kids.

You can contact through email:; calling 206 230-9050.

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