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Part of: Rape culture and consent

"It wasn't really rape"

Myth: If the victim doesn’t struggle or fight, or push back, it isn’t assault or rape.

Busted: Rapists aren’t looking for a fight and they don’t need to fight to know what they’re doing is wrong. Many use forms of manipulation or implied threats to get what they want. This is a tactic called coercion. When you are afraid, there can never be consent. Some studies have also shown that women who fight back are more likely to be injured by their attacker. Keeping yourself safe by being quiet does not suddenly make what happened to the survivor okay. Anyone who treats you or has treated you this way is a coward, who avoids responsibility, and uses the tools and tactics to maintain control and blame the people they hurt.

Myth: A rape probably didn’t happen if the victim didn’t shout, fight back or resist.

Busted: Rape victims are often frightened for their safety and so will co-operate with the rapist to protect themselves. Victims may also become frozen with terror and unable to resist. Lack of physical resistance does not mean that consent has been willingly given.

Myth: Men can’t be raped.

Busted: Around 11% of rape victims are male. Men of all sexual orientations can be victims of rape and sexual assault. Men are often fearful of reporting their experiences for fear of being judged as ‘unmanly’ and stigmatised.

Myth: Sex workers can’t be raped.

Busted: The transactions sex workers negotiate with clients are for consensual activities only. Sex workers of all genders have the same rights to consent as anyone else and there is no excuse for assault.

Myth: Only gay men get raped/only gay men rape men.

Busted: Men of all sexual orientations get raped, and typically men who rape other men are often heterosexual - they usually have a relationship with a woman. Rapists rape other men as part of their violence and need for power, dominance and control.