MYTH: Alcohol and drugs make batterers violent
FACT: Many batterers are violent when they are sober. Some never consume alcohol at all—yet regularly abuse their partner. Blaming alcohol and drug use as a root cause of domestic violence is only an excuse, and presents easy justification for a batterer’s denial of responsibility. Although alcohol and drug consumption may trigger a particular attack or assault, it is not the predominant root cause of the violence.
MYTH: DV only happens within poor families
FACT: Anyone can be abused—regardless of their street address, zip code or income. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, and there are no exceptions or exemptions. Just think about the celebrities that we hear about in the news who are victims of abuse, clearly socio-economic status doesn’t matter.
MYTH: Dv isn’t that common—it doesn’t affect that many people
FACT: Statistics suggest that 1 in 3 women will experience some form of domestic violence within their lifetime. In fact, every nine seconds, a woman is battered in the United States. Unfortunately, domestic violence remains the number one cause of injury for women between the ages of 15 and 44.
MYTH: DV victims would leave if the abuse was too bad
FACT: There are several factors that contribute to a victim’s decision to remain in an abusive relationship. The victim may fear the actions of the batterer if they were to leave or, in many cases, they fear the children’s response to the temporary or permanent separation of the family or household. There are other practical factors to take into account, such as, the victim’s limited access to finances, or limited resources to shelter or assistance. The victim may not know where to turn for help, especially if the abuser kept the victim isolated from family and friends. Also, the self-esteem of the victim may have been steadily worn down throughout the duration of the relationship. The victim may feel like they can’t manage on their own, considering the brainwashing techniques of the abuser, which may have led to co-dependency. Between assaults, the “honeymoon” stage of the abusive relationships occurs, apologies are shared, promises are made, and the victim takes the risk of staying, with emotional hopes that the relationship can be restored. A victim’s process of leaving is not easy.
MYTH: DV victims ask for it—they deserve it
FACT: Batterers attack their partner without any apparent reason. Even if the victim behaves appallingly, that does not constitute the right to be beaten. Violence and intimidation are not acceptable ways to resolve conflict in a relationship.
MYTH: DV is a private matter—you shouldn’t get involved
FACT: For too long, domestic violence has been allowed to happen—with little, if any, community involvement or action to help or get involved. Many people believe that if the abuse occurs in someone else’s relationship, or in someone else’s home, it is not their personal problem—and, they’re right. It is not their personal problem, but, it is truly a problem that affects and impacts us all. We are all affected by domestic violence, whether it’s in your home or two doors down from your doorstep. Domestic Violence is against the law and it is a crime that affects us all—therefore, we all have a responsibility to speak out against it.