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Myths and Facts: May 2023

Myth: Domestic violence is bad, but it happens elsewhere. It doesn’t happen in my community, my neighborhood, my culture, my religion or my congregation.
Fact: Domestic violence happens to people of every educational and socio-economic level.


Myth: Domestic violence is an impulse control or anger management problem.
Fact: Abusers act deliberately and with forethought. Abusers choose whom to abuse. For example, an abuser will selectively batter his wife but not his boss.


Myth: It is easy for a victim to leave her abuser, so if she doesn’t leave, it means she likes the abuse or is exaggerating how bad it is.
Fact: Fear, lack of safe options, and inability to survive economically prevent many women from leaving abusive relationships. Threats of harm, including death to the victim and/or children, keep many battered women trapped in abusive situations. The most dangerous time for a battered woman is when she attempts to leave the relationship, or when the abuser discovers that she has made plans to leave.


Myth: Services for victims are staffed by people angry at traditional society who want to break up the family unit.
Fact: Programs that help battered women and their children, and counselors who provide assistance, are concerned first and foremost with the safety of the survivor and her dependent children. The goal of counseling and other survivor services is not to break up the family unit but to preserve the safety of all its members. Achieving this goal, unfortunately, may mean that some relationships may need to end.


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