Myths vs. Facts

MYTH:

Silence means understanding and consent.

FACT:

Silence can be the result of fear, it can mean not hearing the question or comprehending what is really happening, or it can be the result of intoxication or unconsciousness. Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is unable to give consent for any reason constitutes rape.

MYTH:

Most rapists are strangers.

FACT:

Most victims know their rapists. The majority of rapes are committed by assailants known to the victims, including friends, acquaintances, spouses and intimate partners.

MYTH:

Only women can be raped.

FACT:

Any male, regardless of age, disability or sexual orientation can be the victim of a sexual assault.

MYTH:

When men become sexually aroused they need to have sex or they could suffer physical injuries.

FACT:

Men don't suffer any physical consequences if they aren't sexually stimulated once being aroused.

MYTH:

When a person says "no," he/she really means "maybe."

FACT:

Men and women may both give and receive mixed messages. But remember that rape is a crime. If a person says "no" to sex, you should believe him/her.

MYTH:

If both people are drunk at the time of the incident, no one can be accused of rape.

FACT:

Being drunk doesn't mean someone can't be accused of and convicted of rape.

MYTH:

The victim must have "asked for it" by being seductive, careless, drunk, high, etc.

FACT:

No one asks to be abused, injured, or humiliated. This line of thought blames the victim for what happened instead of the perpetrator who chose to commit the crime. Individuals of all ages and genders have been targets of sexual assault. Not one of them "caused" their assailant to commit a crime against them.

MYTH:

Women often lie about rape or falsely accuse someone of rape.

FACT:

Statistical studies indicate false reports make up two percent or less of the reported cases of sexual assault. This figure is approximately the same for other types of crimes. Only one out of 10 rapes are actually reported. Rapes by someone the victim knows are the least likely to be reported.

Binghamton University's Student Handbook contains a great deal of useful information regarding student conduct. Visit the Student Handbook webpage.

Last Updated: 7/10/14