The truth about sexual assault

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The truth about sexual assault

19 November 2019
Two men in hard hats and work clothes talking on a building site

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions out there about sexual assault, rape and all types of sexual crimes.

So here's the truth.

Truth one: sexual assault can happen to anyone

  • Sexual assault happens across all genders, socioeconomic factors, geographic locations, and religious and ethnic groups.
  • The biggest predictor of being sexually assaulted is being a woman.
  • According to the 2016 Personal Safety Survey (ABS), 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced sexual violence.

Truth two: sexual assault is always the fault of the offender

  • Women have the right to go anywhere, wear anything, and do anything just as men do. The person who causes the assault is the person who does the assaulting - no one else.
  • "What were you wearing?" is an art exhibition featuring 18 stories of sexual violence and representations of what each person wore at the time of their assault.
  • Choosing to sexually assault someone when drunk is just as much a crime as doing it when sober (just like choosing to rob a bank or hit a pedestrian in a car when drunk).

Truth three: sexual consent must be ongoing

  • Consent needs to be actively sought for every sexual act, every time it occurs.
  • Consent should be enthusiastic and freely and voluntarily given.
  • Merely submitting to a sexual act is not the same as consenting.
  • Consenting to sex once does not imply ongoing consent into the future.

Truth four: sex without consent is rape.