Resource Library

Myths & Facts

MYTH: Rape is usually committed by someone you don’t know.

FACT: Many rapes happen with someone the victim knows. People have been raped by their spouses, intimate partner, teachers, neighbors, mothers, fathers, uncles, and other relatives and acquaintances. About 75% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Spousal rape is a crime in the State of California. Any form of sexual behavior to which a woman doesn’t consent is rape, regardless of her relationship. (

MYTH: Rape only happens to females.

FACT: While most rape victims are females, males can also be raped. Rape crosses all boundaries of age, race, class, sex, sexual orientation, and disability. Statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted before they reach the age of 18 years old. (

MYTH: Rape only has to do with sexual satisfaction.

FACT: Rape and sexual assault are tactics used to gain power and control over someone. Rapists use rape to hurt and humiliate their victims. Rape is more about power and less about sexual desire.

MYTH: Women want/ask to be raped, especially when wearing seductive clothing.

FACT: No one wants or asks to be sexually assaulted. It is painful and humiliating, no matter what she wears. In our society, rape is still glamorized in movies, literature, and music and these mediums do not take responsibility for what rape does to the victims.

MYTH: Rapes are only committed by a few crazy men.

FACT: There is no typical rapist. Rapists belong to all social groups and classes ranging from unemployed to corporate presidents. All men in our society are exposed to attitudes that condone or encourage rape. Men who rape choose to be sexually violent and they are responsible for their own actions.

MYTH: Many women falsely report rapes to get back at men.

FACT: Usually the opposite is true, most rapes go under-reported because victims feel ashamed or afraid no one will believe them.

MYTH: Women often say no when they mean yes.

FACT: When a woman says no then she means no. It should never be interpreted another way. If a woman initially says yes and then changes her mind, her decision of “no” must be respected.


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