15 MYTHS

There are many myths surrounding domestic abuse - believing them only allows abuse to continue. 

Here are 15 of the most widely-believed and deep-rooted misconceptions:

MYTH TRUTH 
(1) Alcohol and drugs are causes of domestic abuse  Perpetrators are 
(2) Some people deserve it  No one does
(3) If it was that bad, they would just leave  There are many reasons why people don't including fear, guilt, shame, love & hope
(4) If it's not physical, it's not domestic abuse  Domestic abuse can be verbal, emotional, controlling, coercive, degrading, psychological, financial and sexual, as well as violent
(5) What goes on behind closed doors should stay there Domestic abuse is a criminal act and people must speak out for it to stop
(6) It must have just been a 'domestic', every couple argues It is never okay for an argument to escalate to violence or emotional abuse
(7) Just as many men experience domestic abuse as women Domestic abuse is a gendered crime.
Statistically, more cases of domestic abuse are experienced by women and committed by men. 
(8) Perpetrators are always nasty, violent men who are easy to spot Most perpetrators live a seemingly normal life and are skilled at hiding their behaviour from those on the outside including friends, family and work colleagues
(9) Just because he abuses his partner doesn't mean he's a bad father Children who witness or experience domestic abuse can be traumatised long-term and are also victims of child abuse
(10) People who experience domestic abuse are sometimes to blame Survivors of domestic abuse are never to blame, the perpetrator must always be held responsible. 
(11) Children who live with domestic abuse grow up to be victims or abusers Growing up in an abusive home can be a risk factor but many of these children grow up to be repelled by violence as they have seen first-hand how traumatic it can be. Childhood experiences cannot be used as excuses by perpetrators
(12) Domestic abuse is just a temporary loss of temper Domestic abuse is not related to anger management or temper, it is about sustained control
(13) Domestic abuse happens more in some cultures and communities than others Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, religion, education or how much money you have
(14) Perpetrators must be mentally ill Research has shown that the proportion of those with a mental illness is no higher than society as a whole
(15) Adults can hide domestic abuse from children Even if a child doesn't see violence or abuse, they can still hear shouting and notice an upset parents or physical injuries. Children and young people will experience the domestic abuse too