Myths & Facts

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Myth 1: Domestic abuse is not a big problem.
Fact 1: Nearly 25% of surveyed women and 7.6% of surveyed men said that they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime. According to these estimates approximately 1.5 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually.

Myth 2: Domestic abuse is usually a one-time event, an isolated incident.
Fact 2: Battering is a pattern, a reign of force and terror. Once violence begins in a relationship, it gets worse and more frequent over a period of time. Battering is not just one physical attack. It is a number of tactics (intimidation, threats, economic deprivation, psychological and sexual abuse) used repeatedly. Physical violence is one of those tactics.

Myth 3: Domestic abuse is a “lower class” phenomenon.
Fact 3: Even though many people would like to believe this, the truth is people who abuse come from every race, religion, and socio-economic background. There are reports of attacks by partners who are doctors, clergymen, lawyers, police officers, judges, therapists, administrators, teachers – the list goes on.

Myth 4: Alcohol or drugs cause the abuse.
Fact 4: Assailants use drinking/drugging as one of many excuses for violence, and as a way of putting responsibility for their violence elsewhere. There is a 50% or higher correlation between substance abuse and domestic violence but no causal relationship – therefore, stopping the assailant’s drinking/drugging will not end the violence. It is not the cause of the violence; both problems need to be addressed.

Myth 5: Stress causes domestic abuse.
Fact 5:  Many people who are under extreme stress do not assault their partners. Assailants who are stressed at work do not attack their co-workers or bosses. They choose to assault individuals when they believe there will be no repercussions.

Myth 6: The problem is not really the abuse of women. It is spousal abuse. Women are just as violent as men.
Fact 6: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, women experience more chronic and injurious physical assault at the hands of intimate partners than do men. Women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner averaged 6.9 physical assaults by the same partner, but men averaged 4.4 assaults. The survey also found that 41.5% of the women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner were injured during the most recent physical assault compared with 19.9% of men.

Myth 7: Domestic Abuse is non-existent in LGBTQ relationships and/or they are not as prevalent, harmful or dangerous as in non-transgender heterosexual people.
Fact 7: Analysis of different case studies suggest that LGBTQ people experience domestic abuse at a comparable rate of heterosexual people (25 – 33%), if not more due to the low reporting rates. Even worse, transgender individuals experience domestic abuse at a rate of 33-50% in their lifetime.