Photo taken by Dylan Chapman

There are all sorts of differing opinions, definitions and misconceptions when it comes to sexual assault, but I wanted to know why there is all the variance and confusion. In the spirit of gaining more understanding on sexual assault misconceptions, I talked with Lakeidra Grant, the executive director at the Teal House Statesboro Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center. In the interview, I gave Grant some common misconceptions about sexual assault that I researched and found to be extremely common. I then asked Grant to speak on these misconceptions and why they were just that: misconceptions.  

Misconception #1: Women who wear revealing clothes are asking to be sexually assaulted:

“We teach our victims and our advocates at the Teal House that wearing provocative clothes does not intensify a sexual assault. They can wear what they want to wear… no means no and that does not give the perpetrator the right to put their hands on them.”

Misconception #2: Men cannot be sexually assaulted:

“At the Teal House, we see victims of male, female, different age range, the whole life span. They [people] think because men are the masculine person, they don’t do any reporting, but they do report. It is harder for them to report because of shame and the backlash of after they report. They do come to the Teal House, and they do receive the same sources as any of our other victims.”

Misconception #3: Sexual assault is just sex:

“Without consent, if anyone touches someone else inappropriately, that is what we consider a sexual assault.” Gantt said that this includes any type of touching or fondling, and “it’s not just the actual sex and penetration.”

Misconception #4: If the victim didn’t fight back then they wanted it to happen:

“A lot of our victims, once they’re assaulted, they’re scared. They are ashamed, and sometimes our victims are in shock when these things happen. Their natural response sometimes is not to fight back… because of the fear of what their perpetrator is going to do or what they may have with them.”  

If you or someone you may know has been a victim of sexual assault, please visit the Teal House website for more information.

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