A 19-year-old girl, who went missing from Delhi on November 22, was rescued from Salempur, Gurjar village in Greater Noida on Sunday, December 06. The girl was allegedly abducted and repeatedly raped by two men, who opened fire on her as she attempted to flee from their clutches, it was reported.
What often happens is that beliefs surrounding circumstances, situations, and characteristics of individuals connected to rape are applied to all cases and situations uncritically. Myths exist for many historic reasons which include inherited structural conditions, gender role expectations, and the fundamental exercise of power in a patriarchal society.
Thus, here are some facts and myths about rape For Your Information:
MYTH: Rape is caused by the perpetrator’s uncontrollable sexual urge.
FACT: Rape is an act of power and control, not sex.
MYTH: Individuals who commit rape are mentally ill or psychotic and cannot help themselves.
FACT: Very few perpetrators are mentally incompetent and/or out of touch with reality. Rapes may be planned or carried out by acquaintances, intimate partners, family members or strangers. It is blatantly untrue to say that the perpetrator “could not help themselves”. One cannot harm another person just because they cannot help themselves.
MYTH: A victim should be discouraged from dwelling on the rape. It would be easier if she would just “forget it”.
FACT: This advice generally comes from people who are more concerned with their own feelings than the victim’s. All victims should be offered the opportunity to talk about the assault with those personally close to them and knowledgeable professionals. Victims who are not allowed to talk about the rape have a much more difficult time recovering from it.
MYTH: Rape is an isolated, infrequent event that only happens to certain kinds of people: attractive, young women who are promiscuous or provocative.
FACT: Anyone can be sexually assaulted. Studies show that victims include infants to people in their nineties, people of color, lesbians/gays, people with disabilities, and people from every racial, ethnic, religious, economic and social background.
MYTH: “She asked for it.” Women often provoke rape by their own behavior: wearing low-cut or tight clothing, going out alone, staying out late, being drunk, using drugs, kissing, etc.
FACT: No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Nor does anyone’s behavior justify or excuse the crime. People have a right to be safe from a sexual violation at any time, any place and under any circumstances. The offender, not the survivor, must be held responsible for this crime.
MYTH: If you wouldn’t have been drinking, you wouldn’t have been sexually assaulted.
FACT: Alcohol is a weapon that some perpetrators use to control their victim and render them helpless. As part of their plan, an assailant may encourage the victim to use alcohol, or identify an individual who is already drunk. Alcohol is not a cause of rape; it is only one of many tools that perpetrators use.
MYTH: If the victim did not physically struggle with or fight the assailant, it wasn’t really rape.
FACT: Assailants are not looking for a fight and they use many forms of coercion, threats, and manipulation to rape. Alcohol and other drugs such as Rohypnol are often used to incapacitate victims.
MYTH: Perpetrators claim that wearing revealing clothes is a reason that demands rape. Is this claim correct?
FACT: The truth is complex. Wearing revealing clothes is a fundamental right of a human being. Usually the women folk tend to wear revealing clothes to gather attraction and not for sexual purposes. However, women who trek alone on streets and travel by public transport should exercise more caution when wearing such revealing clothes. They are likely to be sexually harassed in public transport at peak hours by perverts.