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Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Helpline Mon-Fri 9am-9pm Sat 8am-4pm 0800 408 1552 Phone

Myth Busters

A woman is assaulted an average of 35 times before she seeks help (Amnesty UK 2006)

Relevant Links: Types of abuse Delete browser history

It only happens to certain types of people

Not true - There is no set of characteristics making someone more likely to experience domestic abuse.

It can happen to anyone at any time – the only commonality in a DA situation is an abuser.

Those living with domestic abuse provoke and deserve the violence they experience

Not true - They may believe this to be the case but this is likely to be the result of what they have been told by the perpetrator.

For example picture Bob – nice guy, one of the lads, he goes out for a few beers with the lads gets pretty drunk – someone bashes into him and knocks his pint over him but he’s ok, he laughs it off, on his way home he stops to get a kebab and someone knocks it out of his hands but again he shrugs it off. Two incidents where Bob has managed to control his anger however when he gets in he puts his partner through 2 hours of verbal and physical abuse which he has been planning all night.

His behaviour is controlled and premeditated not an outpouring of uncontrolled anger.An abusive tactic used by perpetrators is to accuse their partners of "making" them violent. This accusation is even more effective when the perpetrator and other people tell the victim that he or she deserved the abuse. As a result, many remain in the abusive relationship because they believe that the violence is their fault.

Many victims make repeated attempts to change their behaviour in order to avoid the next assault. Unfortunately, no one, including the victim, can change the behaviour except for the perpetrator. The perpetrator is accountable for the behaviour and responsible for ending the violence, they are choosing to behave in an abusive and controlling way.

Abusive men are not bad fathers

Not true - Where children are an environment where domestic abuse occurs there can be a lasting impact on the behaviour and development of the child(ren).

By being abusive to the mother of the children, he is being a bad father. A good father respects and values the mother of the children, whether they are his biological children or not. Children who are raised in an environment where they have heard or witnessed domestic abuse, whether directly abused or not, are at much greater risk of carrying the effects of this into adult life.

Domestic abuse is about anger and loss of control

Not true - Domestic abuse is about control.

Domestic abuse is a choice to behave in a controlling way; it is not about being angry. Abusive tactics are employed by the perpetrator regardless of whether they feel anger or not. Professionals who work with perpetrators of domestic abuse advise that anger management is a dangerous and unsuitable treatment for perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Disclosure of abuse is usually overly dramatic

Not true - Often reports will be played down, having had the behaviour minimised by the perpetrator as 'just a slap' or 'just an argument'.

Any disclosure of abuse is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Many living in threatening and controlling situations are reluctant to admit what is happening to them for many reasons. These include the shame of being abused; the fear of what their abusive partner will do if they tell anyone; their partner will have minimised and justified their behaviour, which will often cause the belief that it wasn’t ‘that’ bad and that it was justified. Rather than minimise disclosures of abuse, we must ensure the person disclosing feels validated in all they tells us and they are enabled to access whatever support they need.

If it was that bad they could just leave

Not true - There are many reasons why that may not be an option, isolation, lack of self esteem, a desire for change, financial concerns, impact on the children?s education, threats.

Leaving is likely to put a victim in immense danger, particularly when the abused person is female. This cannot be underestimated and she will know this. In these situations a perpetrator may threaten to harm the woman, her children or himself should she make any attempts to leave. Also when involved in an abusive relationship, a woman may believe that leaving is not possible, meaning that for her leaving is NOT a choice

People in abusive relationships are choosing to stay remain with their partner, if they are not happy they should just leave

Not true - This puts the responsibility of the abuse onto the victim. it is the abusive partner who should stop their behaviour.

An abuser will ensure victims think they can’t cope alone, by undermining them and putting them down until they believe this. It can appear financially impossible to leave the situation, and statistically, the time a victim is at most risk of being murdered is when she or he is trying to leave an abusive relationship. Therefore leaving is a very dangerous choice and should be done, wherever possible, with support from trained professionals.

Domestic abuse is private matter; it’s not for me to get involved

Not true - Domestic abuse is a crime and against the law. we can all be affected by domestic abuse and have a responsibility to speak out

In 2011/12, 7.3% women (1.2 million) and 5% men (800,000) reported having experienced domestic abuse - source (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2013)

Be safe and cover your tracks!

See our guide on how to cover your tracks and stay safe on the internet.

If you are in an abusive relationship and your abuser has access to your computer, it is important that you take precautionary steps to hide your internet activities. If you know that your abuser has access to the computer that you use, the best safety measure to take is to use another computer.

Learn how

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