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Myths and Facts About Domestic Violence

In our society, people will often create myths to perpetuate an idea or ideas, most of the time substituting reality for the purposes of the myth. When it comes to domestic violence, there are very strong and many times incorrect fabrications about victims; the result of which only serves to deepen the pain that victims suffer from. Below are some of the more commonly mentioned myths that we have heard from our domestic violence cases.

Myth: Victims of Domestic Violence “Enjoy” Their Beatings

Fact: In reality, majority of victims are desperate for their abuse to end. They often seek out various survival strategies in order to accomplish this desire whether for themselves, their children, or both:

  • Calling the police
  • Seeking help from family
  • Silence

The first line of defense is typically a call to the police, as law enforcement has a very strong policy against domestic violence. Secondly, should the pattern arise again, victims will seek the aid of a family member who may be able to provide either safe shelter, or provide advice on ways to end their torment. Lastly, though perhaps one of the more common strategies, is staying silent. Too often the batterers use threats to keep the victim quiet, and many times will threaten the livelihood of another in order to keep the abuse quiet; and in order to prevent further harm, the victim will stay silent. If you or a loved one are trying any of these strategies, it’s important to have legal representation to ensure that this sort of violence is stopped before it can continue.

Myth: Victims of Domestic Violence Have Psychological Issues

Fact: The perpetuation that battered women and men are mentally ill comes from the assumption that a victim must be sick otherwise they would stand up for themselves. The truth behind the matter is that, while some may have mental disabilities, most victims’ psychological issues come as a result of the abuse, not the other way around. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are highly common amongst victims of domestic abuse, but these issues arise as a result.

Myth: Low Self-Esteem Causes Victims to get Into Abusive Relationships

Fact: It’s a common thought that a stronger person would not allow themselves to be abused, but this is fundamentally flawed and demeans those who suffer. Self-esteem issues tend to arise after the abuse is given, because they have been degraded, humiliated, and criticized so they no longer resemble themselves before.

Myth: Victims Never Leave Their Abusers, OR, They Fall Into Another Abusive Relationship

Fact: While it may not seem this way, victims often leave their abusers, and sometimes multiple times. It may take a number of times before true separation can be achieved, because abusers will use any means necessary in order to hold the victim captive. There is a level of fear associated with the victim and abuser relationship, which can perpetuate the idea that they do not leave. The earlier in the abuse that there is legal action, the sooner the victim can escape and continue living their life as planned. So if you or a loved one are experiencing an abusive relationship, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

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