SMART answers YOUR questions!

Augsburg’s Sexual Misconduct Awareness Raising Team (SMART) wants to answer your questions about consent! They will be answering the questions bi-monthly in The Echo.

The question for this week: What are common misconceptions of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct?

  • Misconception: People are frequently falsely accused of committing sexual assault.
  • Fact: While false accusations do occur, a 2010 study, “False Allegations of Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Case,” from 136 cases, only 8 were found to be false. Other studies conducted have found similar results. The vast majority of sexual assault cases are true, and all should be taken seriously unless proven otherwise.


  • Misconception: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
  • Fact: According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of attempted or completed rape.


  • Misconception: Most perpetrators do not know their victims.
  • Fact: Statistics say otherwise. For kids and teens, 93 percent know the perpetrator. For adults, 7 out of 10 know the perpetrator in some way, shape or form. If you are wary of someone, even if you know them, do not hesitate to remove yourself from the situation. Sexual perpetrators are not just people lurking in the alleyways of the streets; often they are acquaintances, friends or even partners.


  • Misconception: The way women dress can cause them to be sexually assaulted.
  • Fact: Sexual assault is something that no one deserves, no matter how they dress. Additionally, people get assaulted no matter how they dress. The perpetrators are always the ones responsible for their own actions.


  • Misconception: “That person couldn’t be a rapist. They are so handsome and a model figure in society.”
  • Fact: Attractive people commit crimes, too. Forget stereotypes. Anyone, regardless of gender or age, can commit a sexual crime.

Questions for SMART’s monthly column can be submitted to smarteam@augsburg.edu. They will be printed anonymously and kept confidential.

SMART meets every other Monday in OGC 100 from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming events. You can also email smarteam@augsburg.edu to get on their email list.

This article first appeared in the Friday, April 13, Edition of The Echo.