MYTHS AND FACTS ON VIOLENCE AND ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN
MYTH #1: Women who stay in abusive relationships are “asking” to be abused and therefore must like it.
FACT #1: No one wants to be abused by someone they love. A woman may stay in an abusive relationship because she doesn’t want to break up the family unit; she hopes things will get better; she fears for her safety and the safety of her children; she depends on her partner for financial resources; she has low self esteem because of the abuse and because she is afraid.
MYTH #2: Abuse against women occurs more often in certain groups of people.
FACT #2: Abuse against women transcends all age, socio-economic, religious, racial, educational and geographic barriers.
MYTH #3: Women often provoke abuse and deserve what they get.
FACT #3: No woman ever deserves to be abused. Abusers often blame the victim so that they do not have to assume responsibility for their own actions.
MYTH #4: Alcohol and drugs cause perpetrators to abuse their partners.
FACT #4: Alcohol and drugs are often used as excuses for abuse. Eliminating the use of alcohol and drugs does not eliminate the problem of abuse. The real cause of abuse is the perpetrator’s desire for power and control.
MYTH #5: Abuse is often a one-time occurrence.
FACT #5: Incidents of abuse increase in frequency and severity over time. A perpetrator who will abuse a woman once will abuse her again.
MYTH #6: Violence against women does not affect the children. Often the children do not know what is happening.
FACT #6: Abuse against women has a devastating effect on children. Even those who have never seen a violent episode seem to sense their mother’s distress. Children who witness abuse are seriously affected and have a high probability of repeating the abuse in their own adult relationships.
MYTH #7: A man has the right to abuse his wife or partner.
FACT #7: Violence against women is a crime and is punishable by law. No one has the right to abuse another person.