Hear our Trustee Dr Dominic Willmott dismantle Rape Myths:


  • Most rapes are carried out by a stranger - in reality around 90% of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
  • Rape occurs late at night in dark alleyways - victims are often raped in their own home, or in the home of the perpetrator.
  • Women who dress in revealing clothing provoke rape - rape has nothing to do with the type of clothing a woman wears. Anyone can be a victim of rape, from babies to elderly people, including boys and men.
  • If someone has drunk a lot of alcohol or taken drugs they are responsible for their rape - if a person is incapacitated by drink or drugs in law they cannot consent to sex. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs is not an invitation to rape.
  • A genuine victim will scream and fight back - the most common reaction to rape is for a victim to freeze. Other reactions include flop, friend and flight, as well as fight. These are instinctive and automatic responses to fear.
  • Rape leaves visible injuries - rape does not necessarily lead to physical injuries. Rapists often use manipulation or coercion to force their victims into sex.
  • Rape is a crime of passion - rape is a way of gaining power and control over a victim. Most rapes are premeditated and many rapists fail to get an erection or ejaculate. Men can control their urges and choose to rape as a way of feeling powerful.
  • False rape accusations are common - most victims do not report their rape to the police and false reporting is very rare. A CPS report from 2013 showed that over a period of 17 months there were 5,651 rape prosecutions and only 35 prosecutions for making a false allegation of rape. Men are more likely to be raped than to be falsely accused.
  • If someone is not crying hysterically they can’t have been raped - there is no one reaction to rape, often victims appear flat and calm as a result of shock.
  • If the victim didn’t report it straight away it wasn’t rape - often victims do not report rape straight away due to feelings of shame and guilt. This is particularly true if the rapist is known to the victim.
  • Only gay men get raped - the sexual orientation of the victim has no bearing on rape. Rapists rape due to their need for dominance, control and power.