Common Myths

Myth: I would never rape a woman, but if she’s drunk, that’s on her.
Fact: A man or woman who is incapacitated through alcohol or any other means is unable to give consent. Any sexual action with an incapacitated person is by definition sexual assault and can have serious consequences, both legally and here at Goucher.

Myth: It’s not really sexual assault if someone changes her or his mind in the middle of a sexual activity.
You can change your mind at any time. Say you want to stop, say no, or simply say you’ve changed your mind. A respectful partner does not want to do something that you don’t want to do.

Myth: If a person doesn’t fight back, she or he wasn’t really raped.
Fact:. Actually, not fighting back, also known as “freezing,” is an evolutionary survival response (along with “fight” and “flight”). Submission is not the same as cooperation. Whatever a person does to survive a rape is the appropriate action.

Myth: Only women are victims of sexual violence.
Fact: Between three and five percent of men have experienced rape or attempted rape, according to varying studies. The number is thought to be much higher because many men don’t tell anyone. 

Myth: Power-based personal violence only happens in heterosexual relationships. If it does happen in LGBTQ relationships, it’s mutual violence.
Fact: A recent study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that members of the LGBT community reported having experienced sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence at levels equal to or higher than heterosexual individuals.

Myth: There are a lot of false reports.
Fact: The false report rate for rape is similar to other false felony reports. The FBI estimates that about two percent of reported rapes are false, which is approximately the same rate as any other crime.