Sexual violence is a common phenomenon in Israeli society. Despite its frequency, it is still kept silent in the public sphere. The last few years have seen a rise in awareness on the topic of sexual abuse and harassment; however it is a crime with a very low percentage of incident reports. This is for a variety of reasons, the main reason being that we live in a society that tends to blame the victim, which causes them feelings of shame and humiliation preventing them from reporting the incident.
This section will survey facts that will help us disprove some of the common myths concerning sexual assault:
- A rapist can be any man regardless of profession, level of education or socio-economic status. Rapists can be educated, successful people of high status.
- Most rapists have family and social lives that appear completely normal.
- Non-objection does not express consent.
- Everyone is vulnerable to sexual assault regardless of age, status, education, physical appearance, religion or origin.
- Rape is not a spontaneous act, it is usually planned out carefully in advance.
- Most incidents of rape occur in the house of the victim or the perpetrator.
- Rape can occur in any place at any time: during the daytime or at night, at home, at school, at work or at university, on the street, in stairwells or in elevators.
- How you dress and how you behave does not cause sexual assault or rape. What causes sexual assault or rape is the desire of the perpetrator to control their victim.
- False claims constitute a miniscule percentage of reports of sexual assault, just like false claims of other crimes.