Myth: Domestic abuse is restricted to physical violence.
Fact: Domestic abuse is often thought of as hitting, slapping or beating your partner but it includes a wide range of behaviours, such as physical, psychological, sexual or financial. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, sexuality or wealth can be affected by domestic abuse.
Myth: Domestic abuse is not widespread.
Fact: Even though domestic abuse is still hidden and underreported, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. One in four women experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives. On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police.
Myth: As many men experience domestic abuse as women.
Fact: It is increasingly acknowledged that men can experience domestic abuse from their female partners, same sex relationships and family members . However it is recognised in research that the majority of domestic abuse is perpetrated by men against women.
Myth: Domestic abuse occurs predominantly in poor, urban areas.
Fact: Anyone can be abused, no matter where they live or how much income they have. Studies have consistently found that domestic abuse occurs among all types of families, regardless of income, profession, region, ethnicity, educational level or race.
Myth: Domestic abuse doesn’t happen in same-sex relationships.
Fact: Homosexual relationships see the same patterns of abuse as heterosexual ones, and victims are faced with additional barriers when seeking help and support. Domestic abuse is by no means restricted to couples of any single sexuality.
Myth: Domestic abuse is often a one-off incident.
Fact: Domestic abuse is not any single event, rather it is an ongoing cycle of one person establishing and maintaining emotional, psychological, sexual and often financial control of another. It often starts out slowly and becomes increasingly more frequent the longer it continues.
Myth: Domestic abuse is a private matter that others should not get involved in.
Fact: Domestic abuse is against the law and should by no means be kept hidden. The prevailing tendency to think otherwise leads to many women not getting the help they need to regain control of their lives. No crime should ever be ignored because it happened in the privacy of someone’s home. It is our responsibility to speak out against it.
Myth: Women often provoke assaults and therefore “ask for it.”
Fact: There is no justification for abuse. No one makes someone be abusive and no one deserves to be abused. – Long standing exposure to violence can have the effect of making the woman believe they deserve to be hurt. It can lessen confidence and may lead the women to rationalise their abuser’s behaviour and even defend it.
Myth: You cannot be raped by your partner.
Fact: There is a conception in society that by marrying or living with your partner, as a woman you are expected to comply with your partners sexual demands. This belief can cause great harm to women who are sexually assaulted and raped by their partner. The suffering experienced by a woman when she is raped by her partner, someone who she trusts and loves, can be very damaging.
Myth: Only complete strangers become stalkers.
Fact: There is no single stalker profile and most individuals are stalked by someone that they know. Stalking is most likely done out of an obsession and as such is more likely to happen in a situation where it can be fostered by repeated engagement between the stalker and the victim, such as in a workplace.