Myths About Domestic Violence
In this post we debunk common myths about domestic violence.
1. Domestic violence is rare
Although statistics on domestic violence is not exact, it’s clear that millions of women, children and even men are abused physically by family members and other people close to them.
2. Domestic violence is only seen in lower socio-economic families
Police records, domestic violence services and studies have shown that domestic violence occurs in every socioeconomic group regardless of age, race, culture, or academic level.
3. Alcohol and drug abuse are the causes of domestic violence
Domestic violence and substance abuse are two different problems that should be treated separately. Alcohol and drugs have been linked to domestic violence because many perpetrators use these substances; however to name them as the cause for domestic violence is almost excusing the batterer for his behaviour.
4. Victims like being hit, otherwise they would leave
Most people respond to domestic violence with statements like “why doesn’t she just leave” without thinking of the economic and social realities facing the victim. Shelters are often full and sometimes family and friends are less than supportive. Making the decision to leave may even increase the chance of physical harm to the victim or the children.
Do you know any other myths? Post a comment!
“The victim made the perpetrator do it” is another myth I’ve heard of.?This myth creates a premise for physical violence suggesting that the victim made the abuser do it because they are annoying, yelling, or persistent in frustrating the abuser.
Well noted Kathleen. It is common the perspective that the victim should have been more “conscious” of the perpetrator’s behaviour, such as his or her tendency to become aggressive. This discussion reaches other areas, such as cases of public sexual abuse.
If you have read any news or commentary about recent cases of sexual abuse in public, you may have noted that a number of people believe that it is the victim’s fault to have “induced” the sexual attack by wearing a certain outfit, or acting in a particular manner, for example.
Although there is an element of risk in certain behaviours from victims, they do not justify any aggressive, violent or unwanted action from the perpetrator.
The other issue to realise is the fact the victim loves her husband or partner and how could someone she loves do such a thing. This often leads to the victim trying even harder to keep the peace. There is also the shame of admitting you are being abused by the person you love, so victims will cover or lie in order not to expose their dilemma. The words, “You made me hit you”, are comments heard by many victims. Nobody makes you do anything, you chose to react of your own free will. Blame results in not having to take responsibility.