1. Can guys be in an abusive relationships?
    Yes, an abusive relationship is about the unequal distribution of power and control. A guy can experience physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as a girl.
  2. If a guy is raped by another guy, does it make him gay?
    No, rape does not determine sexual orientation. Also, because rape is about dominating the other person, it does not have anything to do with romantic love or both people wanting to take part in the sexual activity.
  3. Can a guy be raped by a girl?
    Yes, rape is when a sexual act occurs without consent. A boy/man can be raped even if he is sexually aroused. The definitions of rape and sexual assault revolve around the idea of consent. Both parties must consent to the sexual relationship. In some cases, the law prevents a person from being able to consent; for example, if the person is young, a child, has a disability which prevents them from being able to make decisions, or is drunk. A person who fits these description is not able to give consent (Another way of saying it: does the person have the capacity to give voluntary and knowing consent to sexual contact?).
  4. Why doesn't she just leave the relationship if she is being abused?
    Usually, violence isn't constant but comes in cycles, with a "honeymoon" period after the violent episode when the abuser says that he or she is sorry and that it will never happen again. This makes it hard for the victim to leave because he/she wants to believe the promises and it seems like the person is genuinely sorry. Something to remember: an abusive relationship is still a relationship. The victim might really love the abuser--he/she may want the violence to end, but not the whole relationship. He/She may also think that he/she can change the abuser. Another reason it's hard to leave an abusive relationship is because the victim can become extremely isolated from friends and family. One of the common characteristics of an abusive relationship is that the batterer makes the victim cut ties to friends and family, which takes away her support network making it harder to leave because she has nowhere to go
  5. Can a gay or lesbian person be raped?
    Yes, rape is when a sexual act occurs without consent. It does not have to be penis-vagina contact. Any unwanted sexual contact can be sexual assault and unwanted penetration is rape.
  6. Why would someone rape someone else?
    Rape is about power and control, not romantic love. Rapists do not rape in order to have an enjoyable sexual experience.  People rape because it is a way to dominate another person and control another person. In fact, a study has shown that most rapists actually do have access to consensual sex (i.e, they have a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc).
  7. Why would someone not report that they had been raped?
    Victims often do not report rape because it is difficult to tell police and strangers about the intimate details of rape.  Victims fear being judged by authorities and the public (for example, because they were drunk at the time, because they have a sexual history, etc.). Also, the majority of rapes occur between people who know each other, so the victim may fear telling someone about the rape because it is a family member, friend, or acquaintence. Also, many people do not know that rape is based on consent--not on the relationship between people. What this means is if a couple has been having sex, that does not give either person the "right" to have sex with their partner anytime. Both people must consent every time the couple engages in a sexual act.
  8. What does a rapist look like?
    A rapist can be anyone. A rapist can be poor or rich, any nationality or race, either male or female, any sexual orientation or sexual identity, young or old, a family member, a friend, or a stranger.
  9. What can I do to stop rape from happening?
    If you witness a rape, you should contact the police and report it. You can give the victim contact information to a sexual assault hotline, like Peace Over Violence's 24 hour hotlines:

    • (310) 392-8381
(626) 793-3385
    • (213) 626-3393

Prevention is the key to ending rape. One of the best ways to prevent rape is to educate young people about healthy relationships and the definition of rape and sexual assault. Through education, teens can identify situations where sexual contact is unwanted and can know their options and the resources available. Education also helps teens avoid situations where rape is common, such as during parties when people are drunk or high. Our experience has shown that one of the best ways to educate about rape and unhealthy relationships is to help teens educate other teens. You can stop rape by addressing the myths and educating people about the facts of rape and teen dating violence.