Myth: Only women are victims of sexual assault or rape, and only men commit these acts.
Reality: Both men and women can be sexually assaulted or raped, and assailants can be male or female with any sexual orientation.

Myth: If a person has been drinking alcohol when he or she is sexually assaulted, that person should accept some of the responsibility for the assault .
Reality: Sexual assault survivors are never responsible for the attack, no matter what, no matter how much alcohol was consumed. You do not lose your rights as a person because you chose to consume alcohol. The assailant, not the victim, is responsible for perpetrating a sexual assault.

Myth: You can't be raped or sexually assaulted by your significant other.
Reality: Any form of unwanted sexual activity in any relationship constitutes sexual assault.

Myth: A person is most likely to be assaulted by a stranger, in unfamiliar places or at night.
Reality: In approximately 80-85% of cases, the survivor knows his or her assailant.

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 sexual assaults are truthfully reported, and, in fact, sexual assaults are vastly underreported.

Myth: Rapists have psychological problems; that is why they sexually assault people.
Reality: Most assailants are males with no history of mental disorder. Reasoning for their actions can be quite complicated and unique for each individual.

Myth: There are certain cultural backgrounds or races that tend to produce most perpetrators of sexual assault.
Reality: Perpetrators include men and women of all races, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, as well as economic and social classes.

Myth: You have to be a young, white woman to be at risk for sexual assault.
Reality: Women of all ages are at risk; in fact, 25% of women will be assaulted in the course of their lifetime. Survivors or assailants of sexual assault cross all lines of ethnicity, sexuality, gender and religion. Anyone can be sexually assaulted and anyone can be a sexual assault assailant. There is no typical profile of a victim or an assailant.

Myth: If the victim did not resist the assailant, or there were no weapons or injuries, then it can't be considered sexual assault.
Reality: Threats of violence and coercion are weapons, and victims may not resist because they fear injury. If the experience is unwanted, it is sexual assault.

Source: Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Prevention & Support at Stanford University

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