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Myths and prejudices

Many myths tend to blame victims of sexual assault for what has happened to them. It is time to set things straight because nothing justifies sexual assault!

A person's behaviour and way of dressing are often provocative and are a way of ''asking for it''

FALSE One of the most popular myths is that sexual assault is due to provocation. Whether it be the victim's way of dressing, behaviour, attitudes or appearance. Hitchhiking, being out late, drinking or doing drugs, dressing seductively, wanting a relationship or wanting to have sexual contact with another person. None of these are an invitation or a provocation to sexual assault.

Sexual assailants are always strangers

FALSE The abuser is usually a person who is known to the victim, someone who abuses their position of trust, authority or power in order to sexually assault the victim. A sexual assailant may also be a professional such as a therapist, a doctor, a coach, or a teacher.

All sexual assailants have mental health problems and happens because of an incontrolable sexual impulse

FALSE Sexual assault is not necessarily committed by a mentally ill person. Close to 80% of victims know their assailant. In most cases, they are a member of their family or an acquaintance in good mental health. Sexual assault is an act of violence and of domination, not one of sexual impulsiveness.

All men who sexually assault boys are homosexuals

FALSE Men who sexually assault young boys or other men are not necessarily homosexual anymore than men who assault young girls or women are necessarily heterosexual.

A man cannot experience sexual assault

FALSE Anyone can experience sexual assault throughout the course of their life. Sex, age, genre, race, social status, strength and sexual orientation does not determine whether a person can or cannot become a victim.

Some sections of the information on this web site have been taken in part or in whole from the Information Guide for Sexual Assault Victims (2008)

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