Choosing whether or not you wish to be sexually active is your right. Sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and date rape, are words used when a person is forced into a sexual act against their will.
The word “rape” often brings to mind an image of being violently attacked while walking outside late at night. However, most rapes do not happen this way. In the majority of cases people are sexually assaulted by someone they know and sometimes trust. Women often fear they will be seen as somehow responsible for the rape. There are many inaccurate beliefs held in our community about how and why rape occurs, and these add to the distress experienced by survivors of rape. A survivor may blame themselves for the attack. However, people who have experienced rape are never to blame.
There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the issue of sexual abuse and rape. Remember that it’s your body and your choice to have sex or not.
Myth – Once a man is turned on, he can’t control himself.
Reality – Rape is a choice to control and degrade another person. Many rapes are planned beforehand. Men can control their sexual urges. No matter how much a man is turned on, there are no excuses.
Myth – Drugs and alcohol cause rape.
Reality – There are no excuses. You are always responsible for your behaviour, including how much alcohol and other drugs you take,
and what you may do when you are under their influence. Blaming rape on alcohol or other drugs is a cop-out.
Myth – Rape is about sex.
Reality – Rape is not about sex. It is a crime of violence. It is a violation of a person’s rights – their right to decide whether to have sex, their right to choose sexual partners and their right to demand safer sex. Rape is about controlling, harming and degrading someone else.
‘NO’ means ‘NO’.
People who have an experience of rape are NOT responsible for someone else’s actions. It is NEVER their fault. If you are unable to give informed consent while too intoxicated this is also sexual assault.
For more information:
Sometimes it can be very difficult but it is very important to tell an adult or someone you trust or feel safe with. If you have been sexually abused or raped, it is important that you talk to someone about it (see organisations at the end of the chapter, if you don’t want to discuss it with your friends or family). It can be all the more difficult because sometimes others may not want to believe you.
For more information, visit the website:
http://www.nt.gov.au (Health link)