Rape Myths & Facts

Rape Myths & Facts


There are many myths about rape which are kept alive through our jokes, how we speak, the media, and those who influence our values in society.   Myths lead people to blame women for rape, to make people doubt what survivors say and to make survivors feel guilty and blame themselves for rape.

Myth Fact
A woman who gets drunk is inviting rape.  A person that is drunk can’t give consent.  Taking advantage of a drunk person is rape.
Women who wear revealing clothing invite men to rape them. Women are raped no matter what they wear – babies are raped, old women are raped, nuns are raped. Clothing does not make men rape.  Women are entitled to wear whatever they choose, just as men are.
Rapists are strangers who attack in  dark or lonely places. Rapists are usually someone the survivor knows and are often a family member, friend, neighbour or current/ex-partner.
When a woman lets a man buy her a drink, he is entitled to have sex with her. Accepting a drink, does not mean that a woman is saying yes or consenting to sex. She has the right to choose if, when and with whom she has sex.
It’s not rape if they are married or in a relationship. In any relationship, each partner has the right to say no to sex. Rape often occurs in relationships and marriages. If a person does not consent to sex, it is rape, no matter the relationship between the two people.
Once a man is aroused and has an erection he has to have sex. Every human being has control over their body and can choose to stop at any point.
Women say no when they mean yes. Only Yes means Yes.  
Men can’t be raped. Men can be raped and do get raped.

We need to challenge these myths in the different spaces we find ourselves in and share accurate and helpful information, whilst actively trying to influence how we all understand and can respond to rape.

Important Numbers

DSD Hot Line: 0800 428 428
Rape Crisis, Cape Town: 021 447 9762
Rape Crisis, Port Elizabeth: 041 484 38 04
Greater Rape Intervention Project Counselling Help Line 083 310 1321

Or alternatively, click here to contact us