Myths and Facts

Society’s lack of understanding about the dynamics of domestic violence an sexual assault often is the greatest obstacle an abused person faces in their efforts to end the violence in their life. (Emotional abuse is actually more difficult to overcome than physical violence.)

With this in mind, here are some common myths select them to see the facts:

  • Other people shouldn't get involved with private family matters

    Domestic Violence – also called spouse abuse, wife beating, etc is not just a family problem. It is a crime, with serious repercussions for your friend, the children in that family, and the entire community.

  • That kind of behavior doesn't happen here.

    Domestic violence occurs among all ages, religious, educational and socio-economic backgrounds.

  • They must like it, or they would leave!

    Many victims have strong emotional ties to their abuser. They don’t like what is being done to them but they continue to hope it will get better. There may be financial barriers to leaving. Religious, social and family pressure may also be factors. Often victims are unaware of resources to assist them and embarrassed to reach out. OFTEN THE DANGER INCREASES DRASTICALLY WHEN A VICTIM LEAVES THEIR ABUSER due to the perceived loss of control.

  • Women who stay with abusive partners don't care about their children

    She may be doing her best to protect her children from the violence. She may feel that the abuse is only directed at her and does not realize its effects on the children. Perhaps she feels that the children need a father, or lacks the resources to support them on her own. The children may beg her to stay, not wanting to leave their home or their friends. Often abused women fear that if she leaves she will lose custody of her children.

  • The abuser has a drinking problem (or another type of drug addiction.)

    although alcohol use may intensify an already existing violent behavior, it does not cause the abuse.

  • If nothing physical is happening it's probably not very serious

    Domestic Violence can involve threats, intimidation, isolation, pushing and shoving long before physical abuse begins. It is rarely a one-time occurrence and usually escalates in frequency and severity over time. Physical abuse, particularly toward women by intimate partners, results in more injury requiring medical treatment than rape, auto accidents and muggings – combined.

  • The violence must be provoked in some way.

    Whatever problems exist in a relationship, the use of violence is never justified or acceptable.

  • If you know the abusive partner, it may be difficult to believe that they would hurt anyone.

    Many abusers are not violent in other relationships. They can be charming and loveable in a social situation, yet display extreme violence in the privacy of their own home.

  • The abuser must be sick

    Domestic violence is a learned behavior, not a mental illness. The abuser’s experience as a child and the messages they get from society in general, tell them that violence is an effective way to achieve power and control over their partner’s behavior. Abusers are accountable for their own actions. Viewing them as “sick” wrongly excuses them from taking responsibility for their behavior.

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