Myths About Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse only happens to women
The majority of victims of domestic abuse are women, but it can happen to men in both heterosexual and same sex relationships.  Domestic abuse is also experienced by people who identfy as transgender or non-gender.

Why doesn’t she just leave?
Statistically, the most dangerous time for a female victim of domestic abuse is when she leaves her abuser – she is most likely to be murdered by him at this point.

There are also other significant issues to consider – leaving could mean giving up her job, losing contact with friends and family, if there are children they may have to change schools and leave their friends behind.

Alcohol and drugs cause domestic violence
Whilst there are links between people who have alcohol issues or who take drugs and domestic abuse, there is no evidence that alcohol or drugs cause domestic abuse.  Domestic abuse is about having power and control over someone, whilst taking drugs or misusing alcohol may affect people in different ways, they do not make people become an abuser.

Domestic abuse only happens to people who live in bad areas
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse.  It doesn’t matter where you live, whether you have a job or not, how much money you earn, what your gender or sexual orientation is.  People of all backgrounds, cultures and religions can experience domestic abuse.

If someone experiences violence as a child, they will grow up to be an abuser
It is acknowledged that children growing up in a violent home are affected in a number of ways and some children who experience abuse do go on to be abusive in their relationships. But this does not apply to everyone.  Many people are repelled by violence because of what they witnessed as a child and the damage it causes.  Using violence or controlling behaviour is a choice that abusers make.

The police don’t respond to calls about a ‘domestic’
Domestic violence is taken very seriously by the police.  Officers receive training in how to respond to calls about domestic abuse and what they should do when arriving at the scene.  Many forms of domestic abuse are a crime and the police can pursue a crime even without the consent of the victim.

S/he brings it on himself/herself
The victim is NEVER to blame for domestic abuse.  There is no excuse for violent and abusive behaviour.

Domestic violence is a private matter, you shouldn’t interfere in a marriage
Some people think that what goes on in the home is private, and they shouldn’t get involved.  This view is outdated and harmful.  Domestic abuse can affect anyone and we all have a responsibility to speak out.  Domestic violence is a crime.  It is against the law.