Myths & Truths of Domestic Violence

Don't believe everything you read and hear about domestic violence. It's not all true!

  • Domestic violence does not affect many people. False: It affects approximately 1 million people in the U.S. every year, and 85% of victims are women.
  • Domestic violence is just a momentary loss of temper. False: The abuser makes a conscious decision to abuse. Loss of temper is a tool to enforce control through fear, and it is part of a pattern of abuse.
  • Drinking or drug abuse causes domestic violence. False: Some abusers make alcohol and drugs an excuse for violent behavior. While there is a correlation between substance abuse and domestic violence, one does not cause the other. However, substance abuse does lower inhibitions and may increase the frequency and severity of abuse.
  • If the abuser is truly sorry and promises to reform, the abuse will stop. False: Remorse and begging for forgiveness are manipulative methods used by abusers to control their victims. Abusers rarely stop abusing. In fact, the abuse will almost always get worse as time goes on.
  • Victims have personalities that seek out and encourage abuse. False: There is no set of personality traits that universally describes all victims of domestic violence. It’s the abuser who is responsible for the abuse, not the victim.
Battering is not a mental illness or an anger management issue, but a learned behavioral choice. People who use physical force do so to maintain power and control in relationships. Many abusers grew up in homes where they were abused or witnessed abuse. If you think you are a victim of domestic violence, remember:
  • You are not alone.
  • It is not your fault.
  • Help is available.
  • You must protect your children
Stop the Silence, Get the Help and Counseling You Need
Seek help by talking to a trusted friend, relative, counselor, health care provider or clergy member.