mYTHS & FACTS
What are the stats?
59% UK girls and young women aged 13-21 said in 2014 that they had faced some form of sexual harassment at school or college in the past year. (4)
Gendered and sexualized cyberbullying is disproportionately experienced by girls and LGBTQIA+ children and youth. (5)
Nearly three-quarters of all 16–18-year-olds (of all genders) say they hear sexual name-calling with terms such as “slut” or “slag” used towards girls at school on a daily basis or a few times a week. (6)
41% of UK girls aged 14 to 17 who reported an intimate relationship experienced some form of sexual violencefrom their partner. (7)
Young people who receive effective relationships and sex education are more likely to report sexual abuse and more likely to have consensual first sexual experiences. (8)
What is consent?
Having choice + freedom + capacity = consent
Having all the information to make an informed decision
If you do not feel safe saying “no” then you’re not really saying “yes”. Not having freedom might not always be physical, it might be emotional and psychological pressure too.
Having the ability to make an important decision.
- Someone who is drunk or on drugs, whose judgement is impaired, cannot give consent.
- Anyone under 13 years old cannot give consent.
- An unconscious person cannot give consent.
Myths and Facts
False allegations of rape are higher than with other crimes? FALSE
The rate of false allegations is no higher than with other crimes, in fact it’s often lower.* Sometimes men are particularly worried that they’ll be falsely accused of rape, but they shouldn’t be – they’re far more likely to be a victim than to be falsely accused, so it’s in their interests to support and believe victims.
*Kelly, Liz. (2010). The (In)credible words of women: False Allegations in European Rape Research. Violence Against Women, 16, 1345-1355
Women that wear tight clothes are more likely to be raped? FALSE
Rape and sexual assault is about power and control over another person and not about sexual desire. Clothes or appearance are not the reason a person experiences abuse, the perpetrator is, and there is no excuse for not respecting boundaries.
It can’t be rape if they didn’t fight back? FALSE
The fact that there is no visible evidence of violence does not mean that a woman has not been raped. Faced with the reality of rape, women make second-by-second decisions, all of which are directed at minimising the harm done to them. Many freeze to avoid further physical harm, which can be a perfectly rational response to a horrific situation.
If you think something might have happened without your consent first of all, it was not your fault, and you did not deserve what happened. If you would like to speak to a professional from OSARCC or ask a confidential questions please get in touch here
Not from Oxford? Click here to find other Rape Crisis Centre’s