It hardly ever happens
Up to 1 in 4 girls before the age of 15, 1 in 7-10 boys, and 1 in 5 adult women. Its likely that you will know more than one person who is a survivor of sexual abuse. But also likely, that they won’t have told you.
People lie about it
Research finds that this doesn’t happen very often – it is far more likely that people do the opposite – don’t tell when it has happened to them.
If it was really that bad, people would scream when it happened
Again, the opposite, the terror of sexual abuse and assault shut down our capacity for language and making sound. Part of the process of grooming that perpetrators use to get away with sexual abuse, is to make sure that people don’t protest, and don’t tell.
He didn’t mean to hurt you
Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. But even when it is true, that is still a problem – when someone is so interested in getting what they want that they completely disregard what the other person wants, that is not consent and does hurt.
Nobody gets hurt when people look at images of child sexual abuse
Every looker creates a market which encourages someone else to sexually abuse a child and film it – children who are sexually abused to make these images are definitely hurt.
It’s not that serious, people should just get over it
Impacts of sexual abuse or assault can be very serious – a history of sexual abuse is correlated with most mental health problems and other things like relationship issues, drop in income, and teen pregnancy. With the strongest will in the world, survivors can’t just “get over it”.
You shouldn’t report to police if you don’t want the perpetrator to go to jail for 20 years
Perpetrators don’t go to jail for 20 years – sentences given are more like 5 years and seem to be dropping. Perhaps the more important issue, is how do we make sure that people get the help that they need to not do this again – can/will they get good treatment in the community or is a criminal justice response required to get that treatment.
Victims who report to police are just out for vengeance
Mostly what we hear is that victims want justice, they want someone to realise that what they did was wrong and for there to be a consequence for that, so they don’t ever do it to anyone else.