Answers Quiz

Myths and Misconceptions Quiz Answer Sheet

1. False

Sexual offenders are individuals who act on impulse; they do not “plan” their assault.

Studies have shown the approximately 70% of rapes are premeditated and planned (Adult Sexual Assault Information and Education Package N.S.W. Department of Health Sexual Assault Education Unit- 1988).

A study of convicted rapists found that 71% of rapes were planned (Amir, M. 1971. Patterns of Forcible Rape. Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

2. True

Sexual assault is increasing more than any other violent crime

Rape is the fasted growing violent crime. The increasing rate of rape is larger than percentages for aggravated assault, murder and robbery (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committed, 1993).

3. False

Most acts of sexual abuse or sexual assault involve weapons

From 3-10% of completed forcible rapes involved the use of weapons (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993).

4. True

For every incident of sexual abuse or sexual assault reported, at least 80 go unreported

It is estimated that less than 10% of Oregon victims report (Rape in Oregon: One in Six). National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, 2003, as requested by the Centers of Disease Control.

16% of victims of forcible rape report the crimes against them. (Kilpatrick, D.J., Edmunds, C.N., Seymour, A. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation: Arlington, Virginia. National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research Center, University of South Carolina, 1992).

5. True

Sexual assault has the lowest conviction rate of any violent crime

Because of the high rate of non-reporting, only 2.5% of rapists are convicted. (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice. Report to U.S. Congress: Washington D.C., 1993).

Arrests are made in only 37% of the reported cases. At sentencing about 1/5 of rapists are never incarcerated. About ¼ are sentenced to a local jail, generally meaning they will spend only 11 months behind bars. A robber is 30% more likely to be convicted than a rapist, while at sentencing a rapist is 50% more likely to receive probation than a convicted robber

6. False

Many reports of sexual assault or abuse turn out to be false

Uniform Crime Reports for U.S. indicate that 8% of reported rapes in 1995-1997 were falsely reported.

Portland Police Bureau reported about 3% or reported rapes in 2002 were false reports (PPB, Planning and Support Division; Law Enforcement Data System [LEDS]).

7. False

Sex offenders perpetrate because of having no consensual sex partners

22% of imprisoned rapists report that they are married (Sex Offenses and Offenders, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, February 1997).

8. False

A woman cannot be sexually assaulted by her husband

On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes. In 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are no exemptions from rape prosecution granted to husbands. However, in 33 states, there are still some exemptions given to husbands from rape prosecution. Marital Rape (Raquel Kennedy Burgen, Ph.D., St. Joseph’s University, Department of Sociology, March 1999).

Researchers estimate that between 10 and 14% of married women experience rape in marriage (Finkelhor, D., & Yilo, K. (1985). License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston; Russel, D.E.H. (1990). Rape in Marriage, New York: Macmillan Press).

When researchers examined the prevalence of different types of rape, they have found that marital rape accounts for approximately 25% of all rapes (Randall, M., & Haskings, L. (1995). Sexual Violence in Women’s Lives. Violence Against Women, 1 (1), 6-31; Resnick, H., Kilpatrick, D., Walsh, C. & Vernonen, L. (1991). Marital Rape, R. Ammerman & M. Herson (eds.) Case Studies in Family Violence (pp. 329-53). New York: Plenum Press).

9. True

Friends and family of a sexual assault victim are also traumatized by the assault

10. False

People who are drunk or high are not responsible for their actions

75% of male students and 55% of female students involved in date rape had been drinking or using drugs at the time. (Koss, M.P. 1998. (Hidden Rape: Incident, Prevalence, and Descriptive Characteristics of Sexual Aggression, and Victimization in a National Sample of College Students). Rape and Sexual Assault, Vol. II edited by A.W. Burgess. New York: Garland Publishing Company).

11. True

The majority of sexual assault occur by someone known to the victim

Approximately 22% of victims are raped by intimates (husbands or boyfriends), 47% by Acquaintances and 2% by other relatives. (Criminal Victimization in 1999: Changes in 1998-1999. U.S. Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2000).

14.1% of perpetrators are strangers. (Tjaden, P. and N. Thoennes. November 1998. “Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey.” Research in Brief. Washington D.C., Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice).

Statistics indicate that the majority of women who have been raped know their assailant. A 1998 National Violence Against Women Survey revealed that among those women who reported being raped, 76% were victimized by a current or former husband, live-in partner, or date (Tjaden and Thoennes, 1998). Also, a Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that nearly 9 out of 10 rape or sexual assault victimizations involved a single offender with whom the victim had a prior relationship as a family member, intimate, or acquaintance (Greenfield, L., “Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington D.C., 1997).

12. True

Sexual assault takes place during daytime hours and often in the victim’s own home.

Six out of every ten rapes/sexual assaults occur in the homes of victims, family member or friends (Greenfield, L. “Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington D.C., 1997).

In 2002, 53% of incidents of violent crime occurred between 6a.m. and 6p.m. Almost two-thirds of rapes/sexual assaults occurred during the hours of 6p.m. and 6a.m. (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics).

13. False

Victims of sexual assault are chosen because they are pretty, young or sexy

89% of the rapists described the victims as not being provocative, “The victims did not verbally provoke nor were sexually attractive to the attacker”. (Patterns of Behavior in Adolescent Rape, by Vinogradov, et al. in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 58(2) April 1988 pp 179-87).

14. False

Sexual assault occurs because men cannot control their sexual urges

15. True

Sexual assault offenders most often target those in their own racial, socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious backgrounds.

In approximately 88% of forcible rapes, the victim and the offender were of the same Race (Sex Offences and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault, Lawrence A. Greenfield, Bureau of Justice Statistic, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, February 1997 NCJ-163392).

16. False

People victimized by sexual assault or abuse sometimes “ask for it” by their provocative behaviors

17. False

Sex offenders were sexually abused themselves as children- that’s why they do it

A study of 100 incarcerated male adolescents found that neither sexual nor physical abuse explains their reasoning for victimizing others (Benoit, J.L. & Kennedy, W.A. (1992). Rape, Death, and Resurrection: Male Reaction after Disclosure of the Secret of Being a Rape Victim. Medicine & Law, 12, 181-189.

In one study, a range 19-47% of sex offenders had a history of sexual abuse (Urquiza, A.J. & Capra, M. (1990). The Impact of Sexual Abuse: Initial and Long-term Effects. In M. Hunter (Ed), The Sexually Abused Male Volume 1: Prevalence, Impact, and Treatment. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 105-135.

Some male victims go on to victimize, some male victims do not and some offenders are not victims. (Benoit, et al.)

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