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Some Myths & Realities of Domestic Violence
 
MYTH:  Domestic violence is an individual problem.

REALITY:  Domestic Violence is a social problem that affects all of us.  Domestic violence costs the US economy an estimated $3-5 billion in job absenteeism and another $100 million in medical expenses each year.

 

MYTH: Domestic Violence only happens in poorly educated families from lower socio-economic classes.

REALITY:  Domestic violence is found among people of every level of education and in all socio-economic classes. 

 

MYTH:  Battered women stay in violent relationships because they like to be abused.

REALITY:  A battered woman stays for many reasons: finances, a hope that things will get better, a feeling that it's her responsibility to make the relationship work, the belief that she has no place to go, fear that she will lose her children, and fear that the violence will escalate if she does leave.  A battered woman often stays, quite simply, because the batterer will not let her go.  If she does go, he will do everything in his power to get her back, to re-capture her.  Most women killed by their batterers are killed after they leave the relationship.  The most common reason battered women stay with a batterer is because they are terrified to leave.

 

MYTH:  Domestic violence abusers can't control their anger and will benefit from anger management classes.

REALITY:  Most abusers manage their anger very well everywhere except at home or with their partners.  Domestic violence isn't about anger.  It's about entitlement, power and control.  An abuser will only stop his behavior if he attends treatment that is specifically designed to challenge his attitude of entitlement, hold him accountable for his violence, and teach him how to change his choices and actions.

 

MYTH:  Alcohol and drug abuse cause domestic violence.

REALITY:   Alcohol and drug use do not cause domestic violence.  They can, however, lower inhibitions, perhaps causing the violence to happen more quickly, and they can increase the possibility for more serious injury to the victim. 


MYTH:  Men are victims of domestic violence just as often as women.

REALITY:  Local, state, and national statistics consistently show that women are the victims in an overwhelming majority (95-98%) of domestic violence incidents.  To pretend that it is an equal problem among both sexes is unfair and misrepresentative. But we do recognize that men can also be victims, and men who seek our help will receive the same services and support as female victims.