If you have been a victim of sexual assault/violence, contact the Amethyst Project at YWCA Lethbridge & District.

Amethyst provides advocacy and support. Call 403-329-0088 or the Crisis Line at 403-320-1881 (toll-free 1-866-296-0447).

For more information about Amethyst, go to http://programs.ywcalethbridge.org/amethyst-project

Myths & Facts About Sexual Violence/Assault

Myth: Rape is not as common in Canada as it is everywhere else
Facts Sexual assault happens to 1 in 4 Canadian women at some point in their lives in 2005 over 23, 000 sexual assaults were reported to police in Canada

The New Women’s College Hospital http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/quickshow_d.cfm?number+65

Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2006) Juristat, 26 (4), 7.

Myth: The typical assault is in an alley, after dark, by a stranger
Facts: 80% of sexual assaults occur in the home,
49% of sexual assaults occur in broad daylight and about
69% of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim

(Sexual Assault Care Centre, Women’s College Campus, Sunnybrook & Women’s

Myth: Only females are victims of sexual assault
Facts: 29% of child victims, 12% of youth and 8% of adult victims of sexual assault reported to 154 polices agencies were males.

Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2003) Juristat, 23, (6).

Myth: Women are always “crying rape”
Facts: According to Canadian Statistics, 39% of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual assault since the age of 16; only 6% of these women report their experience of sexual assault to the police, 94% remain silent.

(Statistics Canada (1993) taken from AASAC,
http://www.aasac.cca/fact-women-sexual-assault-abuse.htm ).

Myth: Women who are sexually assaulted “ask for it” by the way they dress or act
Facts: The idea that women “ask for it” is often used by offenders to rationalize their behaviour. It also blames the victim for the crime, not the offender. Victims of sexual assault report a wide range of dress and actions at the time of the assault. Any woman of any age and physical type, in almost any situation, can be sexually
assaulted. If a woman is sexually assaulted, it is not her fault.

(Education Wife Assault,
http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/sexual_assault.html )

Myth: It’s only sexual assault if physical violence or weapons are used.
Facts: Sexual assault is any unwanted act of a sexual nature imposed by one person upon another. The Criminal Code definition of sexual assault includes a number of acts ranging from unwanted sexual touching, to sexual violence resulting in wounding, maiming or endangering the life of the victim. Most sexual assaults are committed by a man know to the victim who is likely to use verbal pressure, tricks and /or threats during an assault.

(Education Wife Assault,
http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/sexual_assault.html )

Myth: Unless she is physically harmed, a sexual assault victim will not suffer any long term effects.
Facts: Sexual assault can have serious effects on women’s health and well-being. A recent survey of Canadian women found that nine out of ten incidents of violence against women have an emotional effect on the victim. Women who have been sexually assaulted feel anger, fear and can become more cautious and less trusting.

(Statistics Canada 1993, taken from (Education Wife Assault, http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/sexual_assault.html )

Myth: Women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends.
Facts: Under the law, women have the right to say no to any form of sex, even in a marriage or dating relationship. The Canadian Panel on Violence AgainstWomen found that 38% of sexually assaulted women were assaulted by their husbands, common-law partners or boyfriends. Although sexual assault within relationships has been illegal in Canada since 1983, few women report such incidents to police.

(Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women, 1993, taken from Education Wife Assault, http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/sexual_assault.html )