Myths & Truths
Myth: Domestic violence only happens to poor, uneducated women and women of different race or color.
Truth: Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Because women with money usually have more access to resources, poorer women tend to utilize community agencies, and are therefore more visible.
Myth: Some people deserve to be abused; they are responsible for the violence because they know how to provoke it.
Truth: No one deserves to be abused. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser. Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.
Myth: If the victim didn’t like it, she would leave.
Truth: There are many reasons why women may not leave, including fear for herself, her children and even pets. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim wants to be abused. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.
Myth: Men cannot be abused.
Truth: Men can be, and are, abused. Up to 13% of all reported domestic assaults occur to men.
Myth: Most people who commit violence are under the effects of alcohol or drugs.
Truth: Although many abusive partners also abuse alcohol and/or drugs, this is not the underlying cause of the battering. Many batterers use alcohol/drugs as an excuse to explain their violence.
Myth: Stress and anger lead to violence.
Truth: Violent behavior is a choice. Perpetrators use it to control their victims. Domestic violence is about batterers using their control, not losing their control. Their actions are very deliberate.
Myth: Batterers are violent in all their relationships.
Truth: Batterers choose to be violent to their partner and hurt them in ways they would never hurt someone else. Their violence is about control of the person.
Myth: Violence is about anger and rage. The abuser is out of control.
Truth: There are many reasons it is obvious that an abuser is in control of his actions. He does not batter other individuals. He waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the person he says he loves. The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show. If he were "out of control" or "in a rage" he would not be able to direct or limit where his kicks or punches land.
Myth: Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.
Truth: Domestic violence affects everyone.
Myth: Domestic Violence occurs in only a small percentage of relationships.
Truth: Domestic Violence occurs in up to 1/3 of all relationships, including same sex relationships. One in three women will report violence from a spouse or partner in their lifetime.
Myth: Domestic Violence is usually a one time, isolated occurrence due to anger or stress.
Truth: Battering is a pattern of control that includes the repeated use of a number of tactics including threats, intimidation, isolation, economic and financial control, psychological and sexual abuse. Physical violence is only one of the tactics used to control another person.