Rape: Separating myth from fact

HELP: One of the big problems we face in our society is myths and stereotypes about rape.

RAPE is a sadistic crime and has nothing to do with desire, it is about power and control and can happen to any woman, man, child, baby and the elderly, regardless of race, sexual orientation, culture or background.

No one asks to be raped and it is devastating for the victims, leaving them traumatised and humiliated. It is not the victim’s fault the rapist decided to rape them. Consent is the difference between rape and sex.

STAND UNITED AGAINST RAPE: Rape is a sadistic crime and has nothing to do with desire.

STAND UNITED AGAINST RAPE: Rape is a sadistic crime and has nothing to do with desire.

Myths and truths about rape:

What is a rape myth? It is a prejudicial, stereotyped or false belief about rape, rape victims, and rapists.

One of the big problems we face in our society is myths and stereotypes about rape. These false beliefs have serious effects on the community, on justice and on victims not finding healing and allowing rapists to get away with the crime. It is, therefore, important to know the difference between a myth and the truth and to reject the myths to enable victims to get healing and justice.

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TRAUMA: It is not the victim’s fault the rapist decided to rape them.

TRAUMA: It is not the victim’s fault the rapist decided to rape them.

Myths:

  • A woman who has been drinking and is drugged asked to be raped.
  • A woman wearing provocative clothing asked to be raped.
  • Rapists are always strangers.
  • Rape cannot happen if you are married or in a sexual relationship.
  • If a person consented before, it is okay to do it again.
  • Sex workers cannot be raped.
  • A woman can prevent rape if she tries hard enough.
  • Respectable women do not get raped.
  • Boys and men can’t be raped.
  • All perpetrators are men.
  • A woman is not really raped if she did not fight back.
  • Rape only happens outside in the dark, so women should not go out alone at night.
  • Only young attractive girls are raped.
  • Women lie about rape to get revenge on a man.
  • Sex with a baby (virgin) will cure HIV/Aids. This is not true. There is no cure for Aids.

READ: Know how to report a rape

NO TO RAPE: Consent is the difference between rape and sex.

NO TO RAPE: Consent is the difference between rape and sex.

Truth:

  • If there was no consent, it is rape! The law states that consent must be fully and freely given by someone with the capability to do so. If incapacitated due to alcohol, the person is not able to consent.
  • The sight of a woman’s body and what she is wearing does not create desire or lust to the rapist. Rape is about anger, hatred, power and control and has nothing to do with what women wear.
  • In most cases, the rapists was known to the victim. Rape Crisis reports that in 10 per cent of cases it is a stranger and 90 per cent someone known to the victim.
  • Even in a relationship, you have the right to say no. If after saying no, if sex is forced, it is rape.
  • One cannot presume that it will always be okay if it was the first time. Consent must be given every time!
  • If there is no consent, it is rape. Everyone has the right to say “no”, even a sex worker.
  • Men are stronger than women and if a weapon is used or she is threatened, she has no power to stop it.
  • It can happen to anyone!
  • Boys and men do get raped.
  • Although the majority of cases are males, females are also perpetrators of sexual violence.
  • As 85 per cent of rapists in South Africa are armed with a gun or a knife, the focus is on survival and not fighting back.
  • The shock of the attack can also leave the victim feeling paralysed.
  • It happens everywhere and at any time of the day or night – in your own home, place of work or in places you might have felt safe at before.
  • Rape happens to everyone – men, women and children from all walks of life.
  • Perceived attractiveness has nothing to do with it.

Visit epicfoundation.org.za for more information, call 082 940 6230 or email info@epicfoundation.org.za.

Courtesy: Epic Foundation.

READ:

The ugly truth about rape in South Africa

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  AUTHOR
Shernovia Reddy
Journalist

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