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Domestic Violence Myths

MYTH:
Family violence is rare.

TRUTH:
Although statistics on family violence are not precise, it’s clear that family members abuse millions of children, women and even men


MYTH:
Family violence is a problem of the lower class.

TRUTH:
Reports from police records, victim services and academic studies show domestic violence exists equally in every socioeconomic group, regardless of race or culture.


MYTH:
Alcohol and drug abuse are the real causes of domestic violence.

TRUTH:
Men are the abusers in the overwhelming majority of domestic violence incidents. While many male batterers abuse alcohol and other drugs, domestic violence and substance abuse are two different problems that should be treated separately. Alcohol and drugs may increase the lethality of the violence, but they are not the cause of domestic abuse. Many times, batterers use alcohol or drug use as an excuse to evade responsibility for their behavior. The truth is that abusers typically control their actions, even when drunk or high, by making sure the abuse takes place in private. In addition, successful completion of a drug treatment program does not guarantee an end to battering.

MYTH:
Battered wives like being hit otherwise they would leave.

TRUTH:
The most common response to battering is “Why doesn’t she just leave?” This statement ignores economic and social realities facing many battered women. Shelters are often full. Family, friends, and the workplace often fail to provide the necessary support. Faced with rent and utility deposits, day care, health insurance, and other basic expenses, a woman may feel that she cannot support herself and her children with the abuser. Moreover, in some instances, a woman may be increasing the chance of physical harm, or even death, if she leaves an abusive spouse.


Adapted from : “Preventing Violence Against Women, Not Just a Woman’s Issue,”  National Crime Prevention Council, 1995.Body text including a description and information about the subject.