Barely a week goes by now without another case of rape or historic sex abuse being splashed across the news and picked over by critics. Yet misunderstanding about the nature of sexual violence leads to distorted opinions, which can further enhance victims’ feelings of shame, guilt and self-blame. Common myths about rape and sexual assault also undermine jurors’ ability to objectively assess the facts when such cases come to court.

Here are five common myths and the facts behind them:

1. Most sexual assaults are committed by a stranger.
2. A ‘real’ sexual assault survivor always reports immediately.
3. If assaults were reported immediately, it would be relatively easy to investigate and press charges.
4. If you didn’t ‘really’ want it, you’d fight back.
5. Traumatic experiences scramble your memories: maybe you’ve misremembered what happened.

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