Supporting a Friend


Myths Regarding Domestic Violence

MYTH: Domestic violence is a “loss of control.” FACT: Violent behavior is a choice. Perpetrators use it to control their victims. Domestic violence is about perpetrators using their control, not losing their control.  Their actions are very deliberate.

MYTH:  The victim is responsible for the violence because she provokes it. FACT:  No one asks to be abused. And no one deserves to be abused regardless of what they say or do.

MYTH:  If the victim didn’t like it, she would leave. FACT: Victims do not like the abuse. They stay in the relationship for many reasons, including fear. Most do eventually leave.

MYTH:  Domestic violence only occurs in a small percentage of relationships. FACT:  Estimates report that domestic violence occurs in 1-in-5 of all intimate relationships. This applies to heterosexual as well as same-sex relationships.

MYTH:  Middle and upper class women do not get abused as frequently as poor women. FACT:  Domestic violence occurs in all socio-economical levels.  Because women with money usually have more access to resources, poorer women tend to utilize community agencies, and are therefore more visible.

MYTH:  Abusers are violent in all their relationships FACT:  Abusers choose to be violent toward their partners in ways they would never consider treating other people.

MYTH:  Alcohol/Drugs cause abusive behavior. FACT:  Although many abusive partners also abuse alcohol and/or drugs, this is not the underlying cause of the abuse.Many abusers use alcohol/drugs as an excuse to explain their violence.

MYTH:  Once an abused woman, always an abused woman. FACT:  While some abused women have been in more than one abusive relationship, women  who receive domestic violence services are the least likely to enter another abusive relationship.