Domestic Abuse

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There are many myths surrounding domestic abuse, but we’ve challenged the most common ones below.

Myth #1: It only happens to poor women in rundown areas

Domestic abuse happens to women of all ages and ethnicities and from all walks of life

Myth #2: Alcohol and drugs are causes of domestic abuse

Perpetrators are the cause of domestic abuse; drugs and alcohol cannot be used to deny responsibility

Myth #3: Some women deserve it

No-one deserves to be abused, no matter how they may have behaved

Myth #4: If it was that bad, women would just leave

There are many reasons why women don’t leave including fear, shame, guilt, hope and love

Myth #5: She must have provoked him

It’s important to remember that the perpetrator is ALWAYS responsible for the abuse

Myth #6: If it’s not physical, it’s not domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can be verbal, emotional, controlling, coercive, degrading, psychological, financial and sexual, as well as violent

Myth #7: What goes on behind closed doors should stay there

Domestic abuse is a criminal act and people must speak out for it to stop

Myth #8: It must have just been a ‘domestic’, every couple argues

It is never okay for an argument to escalate to violence or emotional abuse

Myth #9: Just as many men experience domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a gendered crime. Statistically, more cases of domestic abuse are experienced by women and committed by men

Myth #10: Perpetrators are always nasty, violent men who are easy to spot

Most perpetrators live a seemingly normal life and are skilled at hiding their behavior from those on the outside including friends, family and work colleagues

Myth #11: Just because he abuses his partner doesn’t mean he’s a bad father

Children who witness or experience domestic abuse can be traumatised long-term and are also victims of child abuse

Myth #12: She didn’t tell anyone when it started so she must be lying

Many women hide the truth as they feel scared and ashamed or believe they are to blame

Myth #13: People who experience domestic abuse are sometimes to blame

Survivors of domestic abuse are never to blame; the perpetrator must always be held responsible

Myth #14: Children sometimes cause domestic abuse to happen

Children have no control over an abusive parent, and it is never their fault

Myth #15: Children who live with domestic abuse grow up to be victims or abusers

Growing up in an abusive home can be a risk factor but many of these children grow up to be repelled by violence as they have seen first-hand how traumatic it can be. Childhood experiences cannot be used as excuses by perpetrators

Myth #16: Adults can hide domestic abuse from children

Even if a child doesn’t see violence or abuse, they can still hear shouting and notice an upset parent or physical injuries. Children and young people will experience domestic abuse

Myth #17: Domestic abuse is just a temporary loss of temper

Domestic abuse is not related to anger management or temper, it is about sustained control

Myth #18: Domestic abuse happens more in some cultures and communities than others

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, religion, education or how much money you have

Myth #19: Domestic abuse increases during the World Cup

Domestic abuse happens all year round and will continue to happen regardless of football scores. Whilst police may see an increase in reports of physical violence, it’s important to remember that domestic abuse is an ongoing pattern of controlling behaviour.

Myth #20: Perpetrators must be mentally ill

Research has shown that the proportion of those with a mental illness is no higher than society as a whole.