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Myth and prejudice

Here are some sentences or thoughts often heard or said. It’s time to expose and stop these misleading ideas!

Women who have been sexually assaulted were ‘’asking for it’’ through their clothing or their behavior. Only provocative and naive women are sexually assaulted.

IN FACT, No one ‘’asks for it’’ or deserves to be sexually assaulted. Women who are sexually assaulted are from different cultures, have different ages, socio-economical backgrounds,  types of clothin, etc. Any woman can be sexually assaulted, and there is nothing she could be blamed for. Only the sex offender is responsible for the assault. Finally, a woman has the right to invite a man to her home and to go on a date with someone. A woman has the right to feel desired and appreciated, but these feelings never give a man the right to sexually assault her.

Most of the time, women who report assaults are actually lying or are motivated by revenge.

IN FACT, those cases are extremely rare. What is true is that sexual assault is a crime greatly underreported in Canada. Statistics Canada has affirmed that only 6% of all sexual assaults are reported, and only 1% of assaults committed by someone the victim knows are reported to the police.

Ignoring sexual harrassment will make it go away.

IN FACT, ignoring the situation only makes it worse since the man understands that the woman assents to his actions and that she either will not  refuse or is too afraid to. Therefore, it is important to affirm one’s consent. Often times, the aggressor is not expecting his victim to refuse or resist.

Sexual assaults are usually  committed by a stranger.

IN FACT, women and children are definitely more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know. Indeed, studies show that 33% of the victims who are 18 years old or over have been assaulted by a friend or someone from their circle. Moreover, 25% of assaults are committed by a family member. Consequently, 70 to 80% of the aggressions are from someone the victim knew. (Ministère de la Sécurité publique, 2002; Statistics Canada, 1999)

Men who sexually assault women are psychopaths, have sexual compulsions and are in urgent need of sexual activity.

IN FACT, 97% of the sex offenders are considered as ‘’normal’’ and ‘’ordinary’’ people. They come from different cultures, have different ages, socio-economic backgrounds and have active sexual lives. Anyone is able to control himself and should be engaging in sexual activity without violence and coercion.