Statistics have shown that as few as 1% of every domestic violence dispute are ever reported to police each year. Stop and think about that for a minute. These startling numbers not only confirms that domestic violence is out of control, but that most victims are paralyzed with so much fear, that they do nothing about it. Keep reading to discover these common myths about domestic violence. Before continuing reading please check out The National Domestic Violence Hotline if you or someone you love needs help.
Common Myths About Domestic Violence
Domestic violence, for the most part, takes place behind closed doors, leaving people to come up with their own opinions.
This creates myths that not only empower domestic violence but also keeps us in the dark to just how serious it can be. Here are some of the most common myths about domestic violence. Keep reading to discover myths about child abuse.
#1. Domestic Violence is Only Physical
While physical violence is certainly damaging and extremely painful, that isn’t the only form of it. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating, and with long term effects. Words are a powerful thing and should never be tossed around carelessly.
When a victim only hears and receives negative reinforcement from a mom, dad, spouse, or a person they should be able to trust, they start to buy into all those lies.
Later on down the road, this can lead to depression, lack of social development, low self-esteem, avoidance of certain situations, or an unnatural and desperate desire to be accepted by others. Sexual abuse is equally as destructive and can have similar lasting results.
#2. Domestic Violence Should Stay Behind Closed Doors
Extended family members and friends will oftentimes see evidence of domestic violence that is taking place in a home during a visit. And they do nothing! They have the misconception that it is a private family matter and that it should stay behind closed doors.
When a domestic violence situation is happening right in front of you, it should never be given a blind eye, especially if something more serious happens to the victim later on down the road.
#3. Most Times Domestic Violence Isn’t That Serious
No matter the degree of violence that is taking place behind closed doors, domestic violence should always be taken seriously. It’s an illegal offense in the U.S and is considered to be a serious crime that’s punishable by law. Domestic violence, however tiny it may seem, if left unchallenged, will only worsen as time goes by.
#4. Victims Usually Provoke Violence
It doesn’t matter if a family member or spouse provokes or arouses someone else to anger, violence is never acceptable. There is never an excuse or a situation where it is justifiable to hurt or verbally abuse another person.
#5. Violence Usually Only Happens to People of Lower Income
It is true that people that live within a lower-income community, or families that struggle with substance abuse, are more likely to find themselves surrounded by some form of violence. That’s because these tough situations can be extremely stressful.
That’s not to say that there aren’t good people that can survive these conditions without expressing violence within their homes.
Domestic violence does not just happen in these situations, however. People from the middle-class and upper-class deal with violence as well.
They just do a better job of covering it up, in order to hide the embarrassment, or ruining their public profiles. This is another reason why fewer victims from these classes come forward.
#6. Domestic Violence is Due to an Anger Management or Impulse Control Problem (Sexual Harassment Myths)
Don’t believe this one for a second. While abusers may in fact have an anger problem, they deliberately choose who they lash out on. It’s been carefully thought out who they can victimize and who they can’t.
For instance, violent people won’t typically punch or slap their boss, but they won’t hesitate to use violent force on others, like their spouse or children. Sexual harassment myths need to be addressed too, they are also a part of domestic violence.
#7. A Person Can’t Break from the Domestic Violent Cycle
There is, in fact, a dark cycle that can take place, based on how a child is treated while growing up and how they will respond in certain situations when raising their children.
If a person was abused as a child, there is a greater chance that they will have violent tendencies towards their children as well. They might find themselves wrapped up in and living out the same poor choices of their parents.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be everyone’s story though. There are hundreds and thousands of victims that came from violent situations, that decided to break the cycle and give their children something that they didn’t have.
A person does not have to continue in the sins and shortcomings of their parents, and a parent can’t necessarily be blamed for the behavior of their violent adult child.
#8. It’s Easy for a Victim to Escape from an Abusive Relationship
From an outside perspective, it might seem easy for a victim in an abusive situation to get out or seek help. But fear has a crippling effect on the victim, keeping their mind chained to their situation and immobilizing them from any attempt, or thought of escape.
They’re wrestling with the fear of the unknown. Fear of not making it financially without their partner. Fear of being discovered by the abuser after they’ve tried to escape. Fear of so many things.
They may have even been threatened by the abuser at one point or another if they ever tried to escape, that they and their children would be put in extreme danger. Once a victim decides to leave the relationship, their situation has become critical, if the abuser sees them leaving, or discovers the victim’s intentions.
It’s easy for individuals that have never been through an experience, to have misconceptions and false presumptions of things that they don’t understand.
We all seem to have our own opinions about everything. Because of this, myths and misinformation can easily spread, which can lead to neglect or a turned-eye, when victims are desperately needing our help.
Do you know of someone, or of a situation that just didn’t sit right with you, where they were helpless? Maybe at this very minute, you may be thinking of someone that’s needing someone else to speak up for them? Don’t sit back and do nothing. Be their voice when they can’t speak up.