There are many myths and a great deal of stigma surrounding domestic violence. It’s a very complex and sadly common problem that many men, women, and children experience. Learning what domestic violence is and what it isn’t, helps us recognize it when we see it and gives us a better understanding of the people experiencing it.
Myth 1: It’s not possible for an abuser to hide their abusive behavior.
Fact: Abusers can be charming and loving one minute and physically or mentally abusive the next. This can make it difficult to see the abuser’s true nature until it’s too late. Abusers often show their best behavior when they first meet their partner.
Myth 2: Domestic abuse is about anger management.
Fact: On the contrary. It’s a conscious decision to inflict intentional harm on another person. It is ongoing behavior to control someone through fear. Abuse is not the momentary loss of temper.
Myth 3: Domestic violence only happens to poor, uneducated people.
Fact: Domestic violence happens no matter your race, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic background. It can happen to anyone.
Myth 4: Why don’t they just leave the abusive relationship?
Fact: The reasons for staying are complex and numerous. The abuser often makes their partner feel they lack the physical, mental or financial capability to survive without them. People who are abused know that the threats of violence should they leave aren’t empty threats and there is real fear in leaving.
Myth 5: Domestic violence is not a big problem in the United States.
Fact: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in some form within their lifetime. It does not affect only heterosexual relationships either. Domestic violence can affect anyone in any relationship, and not just romantic ones. While those may be the most common, domestic violence can occur with a parent being the abuser or even a child being the abuser.
For more information on Domestic Violence please visit the National Domestic Hotline website at https://www.thehotline.org/ or call 800-799-7233.
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