Sexual Health Literacy

COMMON MYTHS VERSUS FACTS ABOUT ASSAULT:

Myth: Sexual assault is a crime of passion and lust. 
Fact: Sexual assault is a crime of violence. Assailants seek to dominate, humiliate and punish their victims.

Myth: A person who has really been sexually assaulted will be hysterical. 
Fact: Survivors exhibit a spectrum of emotional responses to assault: calm, hysteria, laughter, anger, apathy, shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way.

Myth: Sexual assault is an impulsive act. 
Fact: Seventy-five percent of all assaults are planned in advance.

Myth: Assailants are usually crazed psychopaths who do not know their victims. 
Fact: As many as 80% of all assaults involve acquaintances. An assailant might be someone you know intimately. He may be a coworker, a friend or a family member.

Myth: Persons who dress or act in a "sexy" way are asking to be sexually assaulted. 
Fact: Many convicted sexual assailants are unable to remember what their victims looked like or were wearing. Nothing a person does or does not do causes a brutal crime like sexual assault.

Myth: It is impossible to sexually assault a man. 
Fact: Men fall victim for the same reasons as women: they are overwhelmed by threats or acts of physical and emotional violence. Also, most sexual assaults that involve an adult male victim are gang assaults.

Myth: As long as children remember to stay away from strangers, they are in no danger of being assaulted. 
Fact: Sadly, children are usually assaulted by acquaintances; a family member or other caretaking adult. Children are usually coerced into sexual activity by their assailant, and are manipulated into silence by the assailant’s threats and/or promises, as well as their own feelings of guilt.

Myth: A lot of times a rape could be prevented if the person had only fought harder.
Fact:  The only person who can prevent a rape is the person who commits it. Sometimes, fighting can increase the chances of getting seriously hurt.

More info can be found at the following websites:

http://www.promotetruth.org/mythsandfacts/default.htm
http://www.therapecrisiscenter.org/myths_versus_facts.htm

REMEMBER: IT IS NOT THE VICTIM’S FAULT

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