Myth – children often imagine that sexual violence or sexual abuse is perpetrated on them.

Truth – parents often don’t believe their children’s claims of sexual violence because they are sure that the claims are a product of their child’s imagination. Rather, it is easily possible to differentiate whether a child’s claim is imaginary or real. A child cannot imagine a sexual act, describe it in detail, describe the actions taken towards them and their body, the frequency of actions, etc. Not listening to children and not believing them often leads to cases where the child stays silent and doesn’t tell their parents what is happening.

Myth – a person perpetrating sexual violence/abuse on a child cannot be a family member.

Truth – Unfortunately, perpetrators of sexual violence on children can be people who have a blood relationship with the child. In professional literature this is known as incest. Research shows that 24-30% of children who are sexually abused are subjected to this violence at home or by their family or close relatives. It is important to note that the Republic of Armenia is not immune to this issue and that there are cases of child sexual abuse in Armenia.

Myth – Perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers, who have not had a relationship with the child in the past.

Truth – International data shows that abusers and perpetrators of sexual violence against children have usually had a previous relationship with the child. According to the “2015-2016 Sexual Immunity and Specific Proceedings of Crimes Against Sexual Freedoms” survey conducted by the Investigative Committee and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, in 2016, 82% of violent offenders were familiar with the victim.

Myth – A woman who is a victim of sexual violence can escape from her perpetrator, if she fights with all her strength.

Truth – A woman who is a victim of sexual violence cannot carry out any act of disagreement because she can be found in such a high state of stress as to be known professionally as “psychological torture”.

Myth – Rape is a rare crime across the world.

Truth – International data shows that rape is a common crime. It occurs in different frequencies in different countries around the world, for example 36 cases of rape are registered per 100,000 women in the United States each year, 14 cases per 100,000 women in Turkey and 12 per 100,000 women in Japan.

Myth – A person who is raped returns to their normal life within a few weeks.

Truth – After the rape, the victim passes through several stages: denial, anger, adaptation and overcoming. Each of these stages has a different duration for different people (days, months or years).

Myth – A woman cannot be raped by her husband/partner.

Truth – According to international data, every 3rd woman who is subjected to domestic violence is also subjected to sexual violence by her spouse.

Myth – Rape consists of forcible sexual intercourse only by the penis entering the vagina.

Truth –  Rape can be forcible sexual intercourse by genitals (penis or otherwise), or by any other object or body part entering the body.