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There are so many myths about sexual assaults – these are because of the taboo on speaking about rape and anything to do about it.
Rape and sexual assault are the topics about which people are not able to talk in open. But this reluctance leads to misconceptions. Myths are all false but the society believes them blindly.
But those who have gone through molestation and are survivors, struggle a lot throughout their life. The feelings of disgust, being ‘impure’, guilt, pain – are difficult to overcome. Sometimes the pool of depression becomes so big that they are drowned in them. These myths which society believes in can end up sometimes to be fatal.
This is why there are many organizations like Sayfty, MARD, etc. which fight for these women who are being looked down upon and help them stand on their own feet. They make sure that the survivors get justice and what they really should deserve.
Myth 1: Women are raped when they are all alone in the night outside and by a stranger.
Fact: Rapists are mostly people who are known to the person assaulted. Those who were once trusted or loved. People are raped in their workplaces, home, or the places they know and maybe frequent. Rapists can be family, friends, colleagues, neighbours or anyone. But this does not mean we should restrict our girls from going to late work shifts, parties etc.
Myth 2: Only pretty, young, who are talkative or flirty and wear tight or short clothes are raped.
Fact: Girls and women from every class, caste, creed, nation, age, appearance are being brutally raped by people. These monsters don’t even leave little babies and school children. And the clothes what person wear are his/her own business. What ‘tempting’ clothes do the little kids who are raped wearing?
Myth 3: Women and girls sometimes ‘play hard to get’ and say ‘no’ again and again but their answer is ‘yes’ during sex.
Fact: Everyone has the right to say ‘NO’ to sex whenever they don’t feel like doing it. If they are uncomfortable and still the other person forces them then also you are an assaulter no matter even if she is your girlfriend or even wife .Respect each others’ views
Myth 4: Alcohol, drugs, stress or depression are the things because of which a turns a person into a rapist.
Fact: These all are just excuses. Stressed and depressed does not mean go and rape someone. Similarly, drugs and alcohol making you rape some is one of the commonest myths about sexual assault, often perpetrated by movies and other popular media. If If you think that is what is driving you to rape, YOU need to stop drinking or taking drugs, because no excuse gives you the right to rape.
Myth 5: If a woman has said “Yes” to alcohol it means that they are OK with sex too. And after drinking they can’t complain of being raped.
Fact: First, it is a crime to have sex with a person who is not in his/her senses. If someone is drunk then show some manners and drop them to their house like a gentleman. Because their safety is your responsibility. Second, they have said yes to alcohol. Not to your unwanted attentions!
Myth 6: A person has been raped only if they have the injuries to show for it. Also, if a person hasn’t made a complaint at that time, how can there have been rape?
Fact: Sometimes people who are raped are not in their senses and they have no idea what happened to them because they were either drunk or were made unconscious by some or the other means. They could have been threatened into submission. But that does not mean they were not raped. And the threatening is also the main reason these survivors do not speak up or make a complaint, as well as fear of been victim blamed. They should be counselled and we should stand beside them to fight for them.
Myth 7: Sexual assault is committed by men of certain races and backgrounds.
Fact: There is no such thing. This is also lame because people from every part of the society have committed the assault sexually and have mistreated many women.
Myth 8: Once a sexual feel is aroused man cannot help himself and he has to have sex no matter what.
Fact: Men should have control over their mind and body. To satisfy themselves does not mean they are free to rape some innocent. Rape is a CRIME. And what about women who feel sexually aroused? Do they go around raping?
Myth 9: People often lie about being raped because they are afraid of the media, people, and society.
Fact: Major part of the survivors never mention the assault, harassment and assault because they fear that media will make it on air. This could affect their work and life. The society would not accept them and they will not get a suitable partner. We should try to comfort and help these survivors to get justice.
Myth 10: People who were sexually violated in childhood are most likely to become sexual abusers in adulthood.
Fact: This is a possibility, that a person who has been abused in childhood might become an abuser in later life, but then we should be having so many more of women rapists, right?
Myth 11: Men are never raped and women cannot sexually offend someone.
Fact: Agreed that very few examples of the man being harassed are seen, especially in media reporting. So even if in the reality a man is assaulted people think he is lying and the lady is being ill-treated. Men also are hesitant to speak up about sexual abuse as they think they will be perceived as ‘weaklings’.
Maybe these myths should really be fact checked?
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