If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
Myths and misunderstandings
By challenging myths and misunderstandings surrounding domestic violence, we’re taking positive steps towards a solution.
Myth: Male violence against women is as common as female violence against men.
Reality: Statistics show that in 76.3% of incidents of domestic violence, women are the victims. (Victoria Police Crime Statistics 2010-2011).
Myth: Alcohol and drugs cause men to become abusive.
Reality: Drink or drugs may trigger a violent episode, but sober men can also be violent. Blaming drink or drugs is simply a way of excusing or justifying unacceptable abusive behaviour.
Myth: Domestic violence doesn’t happen in middle class families.
Reality: Domestic and family violence occurs in all sections of our community, across all cultures and in all types of relationships.
Myth: If a woman doesn’t like it, she can leave.
Reality: It’s not that simple. Studies have shown that a woman will try to leave up to seven times before making the final break. Many women have no money, nowhere to go, feel ashamed, and fear the consequences for themselves and their dependents. Some believe their partner will change. Research also shows that attempting to leave an abusive relationship can cause the violence to escalate.
Myth: Women who are victims of domestic violence provoke it or bring it on themselves.
Reality: Domestic violence is a crime. Violence and intimidation are never acceptable ways of solving conflict in a relationship.
Myth: Violent men are monsters and cannot control themselves.
Reality: Violent men are capable of being charming and loving. They are often not violent elsewhere, in other situations, or to others.
Myth: Domestic violence is a private matter; you shouldn’t get involved.
Reality: For too long domestic violence has been allowed to happen behind closed doors. Domestic violence is a crime – we all have a role to play in ending it.
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