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Common Myths and Misconceptions

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 208.343.7025 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

It is an unfortunate fact that sexual assault and domestic violence are very common occurrences in our society. However, because they are taboo topics, there are often many misconceptions about them. Many of these myths and misconceptions create an idea that domestic violence and sexual assault are not as serious of issues as they actually are.

One of the most common misconceptions about sexual assault is that there is a great deal of false reports. However, depending upon the specific state, we usually see that false reports only make up about 2% to 9% of all reports. In fact, a large majority of victims never report the incident at all. Of the percentage of false reports, a large majority do not actually name a name. So for a specific person to be falsely accused is actually a very rare occurrence.

Another common misconception about sexual assault is that most perpetrators are strangers to the victim. While this does happen, even more often the perpetrator is a close relative. Typically, when we see sexual assault occurring in a family dynamic, there is usually a long history of sexual abuse. These cases very commonly go unreported, possibly because of how confusing the situation may be for the victim, and because the victim is likely a child.

When it comes to domestic violence, many people believe that a victim can just choose to leave the relationship. In most situations, this is very untrue. Typically we see that leaving an abusive relationship is actually the most dangerous part of the relationship. Many abusers keep their victims in the relationship by using threats of violence towards them or their loved ones, or even death, if they were to leave. Many victims have been subjected to financial abuse as well, meaning that if they leave they may have no money, no assets, and no job to support themselves and/or their children.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are far more common than people would like to believe, and it’s very important for people to be educated about what these issues actually look like when there are so many misconceptions out there.

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