Myth: Rape is about sexual attraction or uncontrollable lust.
Fact: Rape is about power.
The survivor’s clothing, attitude, previous sexual activity, relationship with perpetrator, or level of intoxication are not indicators of consent. The only indicator of consent is if and when an individual clearly, actively and willingly gives it via either outwardly expressed words or actions that indicate permission for sexual activity to be initiated or continued. Flirting is not consent. Clothing is not consent. Giving consent for sex yesterday is not consent for sex today. Incapacitation is certainly not consent. Existence within a perpetrator's line of vision is also not consent.
Myth: Rape is the survivor's fault.
Fact: Rape is always the fault of the rapist.
Believing that the survivor deserved it because of their personality, their way of dress, their personal history is an extremely harmful act called victim-blaming. Rape is always and only the fault of the individual who chooses to violate another human being to assert power.
Myth: Getting emotional or mental health assistance after sexual assault is a sign of weakness and/or luxury.
Fact: Getting the required help and resources to address internalized trauma is necessary for health.
The emotional trauma suffered by a survivor after being sexually assaulted has been studied and noted as quite a real phenomenon, called the rape trauma syndrome. Depending on the situation and the survivor, this can last for months, years, or even decades following the sexual assault. This can affect the survivor’s lifestyle, health, existing relationships, and sense of both power and belonging in the world. We provide front-line advocacy services for survivors to empower them with medical information, legal knowledge and front-line crisis counseling.
Myth: Addressing sexual violence in society is not my responsibility.
Fact: The prevalence of rape and rape culture in our society necessitates everyone's involvement in addressing the issue and creating change.
One in three women in the world will be raped. That’s 33% of the world’s female population. And while statistics about male rape are scarce, an Indian survey done in 2010 indicates that approximately 18% of men in India are raped. Rape culture pervades all aspects of society, from telling women how to dress, act, and exist so that they "won’t get raped" to silencing male survivors out of stigma. It falls on all of us to ensure safety and healing. We all must educate ourselves on how to prevent sexual assault and how to support a survivor.