Despite popular belief, much of what the public knows about sex crimes and sex offenders is untrue. Unless someone actively seeks information on the topic, most people have misconstrued information. The more you know about the crime, the better you can spot the signs and report it to the local authorities.
Let’s debunk 6 of the most common myths.
1. Most sex offenses are committed by strangers
The majority of sex offenders don’t spontaneously attack adults or children. According to the United States Department of Justice, 86 percent of the victims who reported their attacks to the law knew the offender.
Attackers often spend months, even years, integrating themselves into the community and getting to know the victim before the event takes place.
2. Only men commit sex offenses
Women are also guilty of committing sexual assault. While the majority of these crimes are indeed committed by men, as of April 2014, 2 percent of the individuals listed on New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act were women.
3. Adolescents don’t commit sex offenses
Young people under the age of 18 accounted for 36 percent of the reported child molestations in 2010 and 1/5 of all rapes. Teenage males between the ages of 12 and 15 were the common offenders.
4. Sexually assaulted children grow up to sexually assault others
Thankfully, this isn’t always true. Seventy percent of sex offenders weren’t victimized as kids. On the contrary, research shows offenders will often lie or exaggerate being abused as children in order to gain sympathy or create a rational explanation for their behavior.
5. The majority of sex crimes are reported
Sadly, this isn’t often the case. Out of fear of being judged or accused of lying, many adult victims never report being raped or sexually offended. Many that do report, wait too long. If the victim is a child, only 38 percent of the total cases are reported either to a parent or the police.
6. Sex offenders don’t benefit from rehabilitation
While media and entertainment would have the public believe otherwise, several studies show that sex offenders who undergo chemical castration or cognitive-behavioral therapy are significantly less likely to undergo a relapse.
If you’ve been the victim of a sex crime, let a trusted and experienced attorney get you the justice you deserve.