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Finding Our Voices is a non-profit organization in Colorado Springs that sponsors an art exhibit each April. The event showcases artistic expressions of survivors of sexual abuse and their allies. Artists are invited to exhibit in the annual April FOV Art Show for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month (SAAM)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rape Myths & Facts

Rape Myths

  • It won’t happen to me.
  • Rape is an expression of sexual desire.
  • Rape is usually committed by strangers.
  • Men are never victims of sexual assault.
  • Victims are to blame in some way for the assault.
  • Men can’t stop themselves when they are sexually aroused.
  • If the victim was drunk or drugged, he or she was asking for it.
  • Sexual violence does not occur between lesbians or between gay men.
  • It’s no big deal if a woman is forced to have sex with someone she knows (for example, a friend, date, boyfriend, or spouse) and it isn’t really rape.

Rape Facts

  • 1 in 4 college women have been victims of rape or sexual assault. About 10% of sexual assault victims are men.

  • Rape is an expression of hostility and aggression with sex as the vehicle. Rape is a violent abuse of power in which one person acts without regard for the pain and trauma inflicted on another.

  • 90% of college women who were raped knew their assailants. College women are in far greater danger of being raped by a friend or a fellow student than by a stranger.

  • Both men and women may be perpetrators or victims of sexual assault. Male victims rarely seek help, due to embarrassment and the fear that they will not be taken seriously.

  • Rapists are responsible for the rape. Regardless of the victim’s appearance, behavior, judgment, or previous actions, the victim is not responsible for the rape.

  • Men are capable of, and responsible for, controlling both their minds and bodies, just as women are.

  • Sexual violence does occur in same-sex relationships. Fear of homophobic responses may prevent victims from seeking help.

  • Inability to give consent is not “asking for it.”

  • Sexual intercourse forced by an acquaintance is rape. In some ways it is more traumatic than stranger rape because the victim’s trust in others and in her own judgment can be seriously damaged.

Main Source: Warshaw, R. (1994). I never called it rape. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.

Prepared by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story

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