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Debunked: 5 myths about sexual assault

Concordia’s SARC offers support and resources to students, faculty and staff
August 15, 2017
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Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) provides support to students, faculty and staff who have been affected by sexual violence.

Preventing sexual violence, and creating a culture of respect and consent, requires community education and engagement. Part of this education is correcting the mis-information and busting myths that surround the topic of sexual violence. 

Jennifer Drummond emphasizes the importance of understanding that sexual assault is about the perpetrator exerting power and control, not about love, desire or sexuality. Myth busting sheds light on what constitutes sexual violence, and can help create a culture that supports survivors.

When it comes to sexual assault, here are the top five myths Drummond is trying to bust:

Myth #1: Sexual assault is most often committed by strangers.

Fact: Approximately 82 per cent of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the survivor, including acquaintances, dating partners and common-law or married partners.

Myth #2: Sexual assault is most likely to happen outside in dark, dangerous places.    

Fact: The majority of sexual assaults happen in a private home or apartment.

Myth #3: It wasn’t rape, so it wasn’t sexual violence.

Fact: Any unwanted sexual contact is considered to be sexual violence. A survivor can be severely affected by all forms of sexual violence, including unwanted fondling, rubbing, kissing or other sexual acts.

Many forms of sexual violence involve no physical contact, such as stalking or distributing intimate visual recordings. All of these acts are serious and can be damaging.

Myth #4: If a person who was sexually assaulted doesn’t report the incident to the police, it wasn’t sexual assault.

Fact: Just because a survivor doesn’t report the assault doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Fewer than one in 10 survivors report the crime to law enforcement.

Myth #5: It’s not a big deal to have sex with someone while they are drunk, stoned or passed out.

Fact: If someone is unconscious or incapable of consenting due to the use of alcohol or drugs, they cannot legally give consent. Without consent, it is sexual assault.

Check out SARC's new location! Visit the open house on Thursday, September 14 between noon and 2 p.m., in Room H-645 on the sixth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.), on the Sir George Williams Campus.



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