Truths and Myths: Domestic Violence

There are many misconceptions about domestic violence. Many people ask why the victim ‘doesn’t just leave’. Still, others know something is wrong but don’t intervene. This post will hopeful raise awareness and put to rest some of the questions. This is by no means an exhaustive compilation.

Domestic Violence is always physical. 

Myth

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is defined as, “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a system pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner to another. This includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse (NCADV.org).

Most of the time the abuse will start out small and then it will escalate. Most people can agree using violence to get what we want is wrong. Even as children we are taught not to bite, pinch, or hit.

Psychological signs:

  • Blame always placed on the victim
  • Social isolation from family and friends
  • Victim shaming & bullying
  • Victim inability to make their own decisions
  • Stalking and threatening, excessive yelling

Domestic Violence is only against women

Myth

1 in 6 men (16.6%) are abused at some point in their lives and it is suggested that 10% of these are domestic abuse victims. (Approximately 1.6% of all men). Women are less likely to use physical forms of violence than men but that does not mean they aren’t violent.

Victims stay out of fear

Truth

The most dangerous part of the abuse occurs when the victim is trying to leave. There are resources and help available to those who are ready to get out of an abusive situation. But, those involved are going through enough, the last thing anyone wants to hear is ‘Why don’t you just leave.’ Reach out and help, don’t turn a blind eye.

Abusers are always arrested when  you call the police 

Mixed

This mostly depends on which state in which you reside and what the domestic abuse shield laws for your state are. States like Georgia are not forced to make an arrest on the abuser, while states like Hawaii don’t even need a warrant. Even still some states will arrest both parties if the victim defends themselves. Make sure you are familiar with the laws in your state.

References:

Arrest laws for United States

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


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