Myths vs. Fact
Which of the following statements do you think is a myth and which is a fact?
Sexual violence against children does not happen very often.
Worldwide about 18% of girls and 8% of boys become victims of sexual assault.
If children say NO, they actually mean YES.
No means NO! This is true regardless of whether a child or an adult is speaking. All children have the right to be taken seriously when they say no. By the way, the same accounts for saying “yes”.
No child wants to have or enjoys sexual actions.
Children, who become victims of sexual assault, are never asking for it and neither want nor enjoy sexual interactions with adults. Regardless of the clothing style, posing or behaviour of a child, nothing allows an adult to engage in sexual activities with a child.
Studies with convicted offenders show that most sexual criminal actions are well planned.
Adults do not commit sexual assaults because they have lost control. They can restrain their sexual impulses and it is their responsibility to do so.
Studies show that most sexual offenders are regarded as “normal” by friends, colleagues and personality tests.
Those who commit sexual assaults, are not, as often suggested or claimed, emotionally and mentally damaged or unstable.
The victim often does not know the offender.
Most victims know their offender. They can be a friend, neighbor, acquaintance or even a member of their own family.
A child who has never been beaten or has never received injuries cannot be a victim of sexual violence.
Missing signs of injuries does not imply that the child has not been a victim of a sexual assault. Oftentimes an offender will threaten a child with violence or weapons, causing them to freeze and be unable to resist. That in no way means that the child consents to the sexual interaction. If anything, it implies that the child is trying to protect him or herself. Children, just like adults, react differently than they would normally in critical situations, and this includes when experiencing sexual assault. Some are obviously shocked and upset, whereas others may appear calm and controlled. The calm and controlled victim can be just as traumatized as the others but may just be unable to express it.
How did you perform? Did you expose all the myths?
Many people are convinced that the “myths” statements are true although they are not.
Believing in myths leads to a biased point of view and unfairly causes the shift of responsibility for sexual assault from the offender to the victim. If someone abuses a child sexually, those mental biases are actively taking effect before, during and after the offense.
To recognize and modify those mental biases please continue with rose-tinted glasses.