Myth: Sexual assault is provoked by the victim.
- Fact: Sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault. This aforementioned mistaken belief holds that people “ask” to be sexually assaulted through their actions or dress. In fact, studies demonstrate that most sexual assaults are planned in advance, making these factors irrelevant. For a victim, it is a humiliating and degrading act. No one “asks” for or deserves this type of attack.
Myth: Usually the assault is carried out by a stranger on a dark deserted street.
- Fact: Generally sexual assault is committed by someone known to the person (such as a friend, lover, ex-lover etc.) and often times the attack happens in the house of the victim or the offender.
Myth: It’s only sexual assault if physical violence or weapons are used.
- Fact: Sexual assault is any unwanted act of a sexual nature imposed by one person upon another. The Criminal Code definition of sexual assault includes a number of acts ranging from unwanted sexual touching, to sexual violence resulting in wounding, maiming or endangering the life of the victim.
Myth: Sexual assault is a “spontaneous” attack
- Fact: 71% of all sexual assaults are planned. The offender intends to sexually assault someone, often times someone specific.
Myth: If a person has consented to have sex with a partner in the past then they have consented to future sexual intercourse.
- Fact: If a person has consented to have sex with their partner it does not mean they will consent to future sexual intercourse. Everyone has the right to decide if sexual intercourse will occur every time they are with their partner. A “yes” one night does not mean a “yes” all other nights.
Myth: Victims who do not fight back have not been sexually assaulted.
- Fact: Anytime someone is forced to have sex against their will, they have been sexually assaulted, regardless of whether or not they fought back. There are many reasons why a victim might not physically fight their attacker including shock, fear, threats or the size and strength of the attacker.