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Four Myths About: Domestic Violence

March 8, 2011

Around this time last year, we brought you “Everything You Need to Know about Domestic Abuse in Four Easy Answers.” Now, we’d like to take the opportunity to go a little more in-depth. Continuing our “four myths” series, we bring you a review of domestic abuse by debunking some common myths…

“Between one-quarter and one-half of domestic violence victims report that they lost a job, at least in part, due to domestic violence. Women who experienced domestic violence were more likely to experience spells of unemployment, have health problems, and be welfare recipients.” NNEDV

1. Domestic violence doesn’t happen in my community.

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. Domestic abuse is a crime that transcends race, income, and age.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence during her adult lifetime. That means chances are, it will affect someone you know. NCADV

2. Only men can be abusers.

Male-on-female violence accounts for 85% of domestic violence situations. But that leaves another 15% of cases where either the batterer is a woman or the victim is a man. NNEDV

3. It’s obvious when someone is the victim of abuse.

It’s very common for abuse victims to feel too ashamed or afraid to tell anyone that they are being victimized and get help. Up to 75% of all physical assaults perpetuated against females by intimate partners are never reported to the police. NCADV

It’s also important to understand that when people discuss domestic abuse, they are most commonly referring to physical violence. But there are other types of abuse that may leave no obvious physical traces like a black eye. Sexual, emotional, and financial abuse are all ways that abusers may assert control over their victims.

4. It should be easy to leave an abusive partner.

While the situation may seem straightforward to an outsider witnessing abuse, extricating oneself from an abusive home may prove much more complicated from the victim’s perspective.

Reasons could include:

  • Being afraid an abuser will act out violently if the victim leaves.
  • Abusers convince their victim into believing it is their own fault.
  • It is difficult financially for the victim to leave.
  • The victim believes the abuser will change.

 

For more on types of abuse, telltale signs, and what to do:

Domestic Abuse: 4 Easy Answers

Information on the connection between domestic violence and homelessness:

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/domestic.html

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