Several myths exist about sexual assault, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse...READ MORE
Several myths exist about sexual assault, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse . These myths often shift responsibility and blame from the assailant to the victim. Understanding the myths surrounding sexual assault may help you in your recovery. What happened to you was a crime. You are not to blame for your abuser’s behavior.
1. Myth: Rape is caused by the perpetrator’s uncontrollable sexual urge.
Fact: Rape is an act of power and control, not sex.
In addition, one of the biggest myths about rape is that it happens out of sexual desire. Sexual assault is highly sexualized in our society due to the link between sex and violence prevalent in our culture. Many people have sexual desires, but not everyone commits sexual assault.
• Survivors of rape are not always those we would consider sexually attractive, such as children or the elderly.
• Most rapists have available sexual relationships.
• By making the issue about sex and not about violence, this crime seems more acceptable and less severe
• The rapist is allowed then to use the excuse that s/he was simply desiring sex, and just "took it too far". This mentality leads us to blame the victim and not hold the rapist accountable for his or her actions. Also, perpetrators of sexual assault often plan their crimes. Sexual assault is not simply a "crime of passion" where the perpetrator "loses control". Rather, sexual assault is about power and control. The perpetrator exerts his or her power over the victim in such a way to take away any control the victim has in the sexual situation.
2. 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. Myth: The victim must have “asked for it” by being seductive, careless, drunk, high, etc. Fact: No one asks to be abused, injured, or humiliated. This line of thought blames the victim for what happened instead of the perpetrator who chose to commit the crime. Individuals of all ages, all genders, and all walks of life, have been targets of sexual assault. Not one of them “caused” their assailant to commit a crime against them.
3. Myth: If you wouldn’t have been drinking, you wouldn’t have been sexually assaulted. Fact: Alcohol is a weapon that some abusers 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.
4. Myth: If the victim did not physically struggle with or fight the rapist, it wasn’t really rape. Fact: Rapists 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. The Criminal law of Lagos State, 2011 defines sexual assault by the action of the perpetrator, not the victim. For rape, the key ingredient is consent. The question then becomes, did the victim give consent?
5. Myth: Most perpetrators are strangers to their victims. Fact: Most rapes are committed by someone that the victim knows: a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, co-worker, classmate, spouse, partner, or ex-partner.
6. Myth: Serial rapists are uncommon. Fact: Almost every perpetrator is a serial rapist, meaning that they choose to use coercion, violence, threats of force, etc., to assault people on a repeated basis.
7. Myth: When women say ‘no’, they really mean ‘yes’. Fact: Yes means yes! When someone says yes, s/he is explicitly giving consent. Silence does not equal consent. It is the responsibility of the person initiating or escalating sexual activity to gain consent at each and every level. If you are ever unclear about your partner’s wishes, ask for clarification. If your partner says no or seems unsure, respect that person and her/his wishes.
8. Myth: If someone doesn’t fight off her or his perpetrator, then it is not really rape. Fact: Some studies have shown that women who fought back were more likely to be seriously injured by their attacker. This threat of heightened physical violence may make it safer for someone to not fight back. This does not mean the sex is consensual. Furthermore, Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 defines a sexual assault by the level of force used by the perpetrator, not by the resistance of the victim. This law recognizes that all responsibility for a sexual assault falls on the perpetrator, and victims may or may not choose to fight back physically.
9. Myth: If a man ejaculated when he is assaulted, then it is not really sexual assault (this can also go for anyone who has an orgasm when s/he is sexually assaulted). Fact: Orgasm does not mean that someone "enjoyed" the sex, or that they wanted it. Orgasm can be a natural biological reaction that someone can’t control; it does not mean that forced or coerced sexual activity was consensual. Often this is used to silence the survivor.
10. Myth: Sexual assault is often the result of miscommunication or a mistake. Fact: Sexual assault is a crime, never simply a mistake. It does not occur due to a miscommunication between two people. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.
11. Myth: It is ok to pressure or talk someone into sexual activity. Fact: No! This falls into the category of coercion. Coercion is a tactic used to intimidate trick of force someone to have sex with him or her without physical force.
At DSVRT, we regard domestic violence as particularly serious because...READ MORE
At DSVRT, we regard domestic violence as particularly serious because there is often a continuing threat to the victim’s safety, and, in worst cases, the victim’s life and the lives of others (including children’s) may be at risk.
People have a right to feel safe especially in the four walls of their homes and be safe in their personal relationships. We know that domestic violence can have a devastating effect not only upon the victim but also upon families and especially upon children who witness or are aware of the violence. Stopping Domestic Violence and bringing perpetrators to justice is therefore a priority in Lagos State and we are determined to play our different roles in this regard.
Myth- Domestic violence is due to poverty or lack of education.
Fact- Domestic violence is common throughout all levels of society, whether rich or poor. It is often easier to keep the violence hidden when a person has money and important friends, but it happens nonetheless. There is no evidence to support the idea that uneducated or poor people are more likely to abuse their wives or partners than are more educated and affluent people.
Myth- Domestic abuse is a one-off incident.
Fact - Very rarely is abuse a one-off. Most often it is part of an ongoing means of establishing and maintaining control over another person. Abuse tends to increase both in velocity and extent over a period of time.
Myth- Abusers are always coarse, nasty, violent men and easily identified
Fact - Abusers are often apparently charming, generous and well-presented people who can hold positions of social standing. Abuse is kept for those nearest to him or her, to the privacy of their own homes. This Jekyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser can further confuse and frighten the person being abused, as the person in private is so very different to the person everyone else sees. It can also mean that when the person being abused finally does try to tell his/her friends, family or acquaintances of the abuse, he or she is not believed, because the person they are describing simply doesn’t fit the image portrayed in public.
Myth - Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women from particular parts of the country
Fact - Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.
Myth- Some people deserve to be hit.
Fact- No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser. Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.
Myth- Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.
Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. Alcohol and drug use is a major cause of domestic violence.. Although alcohol and drugs are often associated with domestic violence, they do not cause the violence. Many men who beat their wives do not drink. Men who drink and beat their wives usually do not beat random people on the street, their parents or their bosses. They direct their violence only at their wives. Men who batter their wives often continue to do so even after they stop drinking. An abuser may use alcohol as an excuse for the violence, or alcohol may prevent him from realizing the level of force he is using, but alcohol is not the cause. Domestic violence and substance abuse must be understood and treated as independent problems. Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. Myth- Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife. Domestic violence affects everyone in a cohabitating relationship, namely- boyfriend and girlfriend, children, domestic staff and employers.
Myth- Men who abuse are violent because they cannot control their anger and frustration. Fact: False. Domestic violence is intentional conduct, and batterers are not out of control. Their violence is carefully targeted to certain people at certain times and places. They generally do not attack their bosses or people on the streets, no matter how angry they may be. Abusers also follow their own internal rules about abusive behaviors. They often choose to abuse their partners only in private, or may take steps to ensure that they do not leave visible evidence of the abuse. Batterers also chose their tactics carefully—some destroy property, some rely on threats of abuse, and some threaten children. Studies also indicate that in fact, some batterers become more controlled and calm as their aggressiveness increases.
Myth: Domestic violence is a problem, but only in remote rural areas.
Fact: False. Domestic violence has been documented in both rural and urban areas. Domestic violence is a problem everywhere.
Myth- Children who are raised in an abusive household, but are not abused themselves, are not affected by the abuse.
Fact: The psychological impact of being raised in an abusive household can be profound. Many children develop cognitive and psychological problems after having experienced abuse second-hand. Eating disorders, sleeping disorders, depression, aggressive behavior, destructive rages, stuttering, shaking, and declined problem-solving skills are all symptoms of such abuse. Males and females who see their parents physically attack each other are three times more likely to hit their own partners than those who have non-violent parents. The sons of the most violent parents have a rate of wife-beating 10 times greater than the sons of non-violent parents.
STATEMENT- If it were that bad, she would just leave. There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused. A battered woman has many legitimate reasons for staying in a violent relationship. There are many social, economic and cultural reasons a woman might choose to stay in an abusive relationship. These reasons are rational. Often, there is no place for her to go. She may not have a way to support herself or her children if she leaves, feel embarrassed or humiliated about the abuse, or fear that her friends, family and community will blame her for the abuse. She may be reluctant to leave for emotional or religious reasons. In addition, leaving entails substantial risks. She may fear that a batterer will carry out threats to harm her, himself the children, friends or family. Battered women are in the greatest danger of severe or even lethal attacks when they attempt to leave, and she is the only one who can judge when it is safe for her to do so. Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. MANY VICTIMS DO LEAVE AND LEAD SUCCESSFUL, VIOLENCE FREE LIVES.
REMEMBER!!! LOVE DOESN'T HAVE TO HURT!
Being a parent is not easy, however, children NEVER deserve to be maltreated...READ MORE
Myths About Child Abuse Myth - Parents have the right to discipline their children however, they see fit. Fact: Discipline must follow the provisions of the Child’s Rights law; despite what parents think is best. Discipline must also be commensurate with the age and size of the child. At the end of the day, the purpose should be to correct in love and not to destroy or punish.
Myth- Male children do not get sexually abused.
Fact: recent statistics reveals that 1 out of 6-7 boys have been, currently are or, will be sexually abuse before their 18th birthday.
Myth - Sexual Abuse only happens by strangers, people the child does not know.
Fact: About 80% to 85% of all abuse victims are abused by someone they know, love, or trust, i.e- family relatives, teachers, neighbours and domestic staff.
Myth- Children deserve abuse only when they are so challenging to their parents they push them to the point where they have no choice.
Fact: Being a parent is not easy, however, children NEVER deserve to be maltreated. If the situation escalates to the point of abuse, the parents need to get help immediately. (please refer to Office of Youth & S.
Myth- A parent’s choice to be abusive is only excusable if it is a well-known cultural practice.
Fact: False, parents must follow California law regarding child abuse, regardless of cultural background.
Myth- If you were abused as a child, you will abuse your children as a parent.
Fact: studies have shown that about 75% of abused kids grow up and DO NOT abuse their children.
Myth: Children are very suggestible and they can easy "make up" stories of abuse
Fact: Children are no more suggestible than adults, and can clearly distinguish between reality and fantasy. Research has shown that children resist making false reports during leading and suggestive interviewing techniques. Since the early 1990s, training has been available to social workers and psychotherapists in relation to neutral and evidence-based interviewing techniques with children who disclose abuse.
Myth: It is only abuse if it is violent
Fact: Child abuse does not necessarily involve violence or anger. Abuse often involves adults exploiting their power over children, and using children as objects rather then respecting their rights as young people.
Myth: Children grow out of bad experiences in childhood
Fact: Adults are often deeply affected by childhood trauma and abuse. You cannot just “get over” it. Survivors need the right care and support to overcome the impacts of abuse, recover and live full and healthy lives.