Myths About Family Violence
- Myth:Family violence is rare...
- Although statistics on family violence are not precise, it's
clear that millions of children, women and even men are abused
physically by family members and other intimates.
- Myth:Family violence is
confined to the lower classes...
- Reports from police records, victim services, and academic
studies show domestic violence exists equally in every
socioeconomic group, regardless of race or culture.
- Myth:Alcohol and drug abuse are
the real causes of violence in the home...
- Because many male batterers also abuse alcohol and other
drugs, it's easy to conclude that these substances may cause
domestic violence. They apparently do increase the lethality of
the violence, but they also offer the batterer another excuse to
evade responsibility for his behavior. The abusive man -- and
men are the abusers in the overwhelming majority of domestic
violence incidents -- typically controls his actions, even when
drunk or high, by choosing a time and place for the assaults to
take place in private and go undetected. In addition, successful
completion of a drug treatment program does not guarantee an end
to battering. Domestic violence and substance abuse are two
different problems that should be treated separately.
- Myth:Battered wives like being
hit, otherwise they would leave...
- The most common response to battering-- "Why doesn't she
just leave?"-- ignores economic and social realities facing many
women. Shelters are often full, and family, friends, and the
workplace are frequently less than fully supportive. Faced with
rent and utility deposits, day care, health insurance, and other
basic expenses, the woman may feel that she cannot support
herself and her children. Moreover, in some instances, the woman
may be increasing the chance of physical harm or even death if
she leaves an abusive spouse.
Adapted from:: "Preventing Violence Against Women, Not
Just a Women's Issue," National Crime Prevention Council, 1995.