October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month. And although the efforts to raise awareness have risen over the years, that hasn't stopped the rates of abuse from rising. Even with all the horrific headlines and victims being reported every day, there are still many people who have not been properly educated and believe the terrible myths about domestic abuse.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States and, on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. Even with those large numbers, many men and women ignore the fact that domestic violence is real, which is pretty dangerous.
When you're not educated on what domestic abuse entails of, you can become a victim of it and not even know it. Many men and women end up being in an abusive relationship at some point of their lives, but because it doesn't look like what we're convinced domestic abuse is, we ignore it.
With domestic abuse commonly mistaken as just being physical, being educated on the different ways that abuse can take place is imperative to having healthy relationships. These 13 myths will help you see the signs of domestic abuse in the future. And, if you or anyone you know is being abused, don't hesitate to call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Myth #1: Some People Deserve It
According to DomesticViolence.org, one common myth about domestic abuse is that some people deserve abuse. This should never be a thought that crosses your mind. No one deserves to be abused — period.
Myth #2: A Person Would Leave If It Were That Bad
Every time I hear people discuss domestic violence, there's always that one person that says, "well, wouldn't they leave if it were that bad?" Not necessarily. End The Fear noted that people experiencing domestic abuse may not leave for valid reasons and often think that their abuser will change soon.
Myth #3: What Happens At Home Needs To Stay At Home
Many families feel as if the negative things that go on in their home need to stay there. Though people are afraid of being judged by others, if there is abuse going on in your home, never be fearful about telling someone.
Myth #4: Drug And Alcohol Use Causes Domestic Abuse
DomesticViolence.org noted that another myth of domestic abuse is that drug and alcohol use are the causes of domestic abuse. Although each can cause the abuse to heighten or can accompany it, they are not the sole causes of it. Abusers will, however, use it as an excuse for the choices that they make.
Myth #5: People Provoke Abuse
Psych Central noted that another common myth is that the victim provoked the abuser to hit them. This is definitely false because the abuser is the only one responsible for their actions though they will attempt to deflect their responsibility with comments that place the blame on the victim.
Myth #6: Domestic Abuse Only Happens To Women
One of the most common myths that people believe about domestic abuse is that it only happens to women, Psych Central noted. Domestic abuse is not targeted towards any gender or age; it can be directed towards men, women, the elderly, or children.
Myth #7: If There Aren't Any Bruises, It's Not Happening
During my college years, there was a girl that I knew who was in an abusive relationship. When it was brought up amongst friends, , one guy said, "I never saw any bruises on her, so she could definitely be lying." But abuse goes beyond hitting. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, physical domestic abuse is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior.
Myth #8: Abusers Grow Up In Violent Households
According to Refuge.org, another common myth is that abusers grow up in violent homes. Though it seems like a viable excuse for them to be hurtful to others, the site noted that this is just a risk factor for some. Although some children can go on to be abusers themselves, many do not. It is all a matter of choice.
Myth #9: If It Only Happened Once, You're Not A Victim
Clark County Prosecutor noted that many people are under the impression that domestic abuse is a one-time, isolated occurrence. That, however, is far from the truth. The site wrote that domestic abuse is a "pattern of coercion and control that one person exerts over another."
Myth #10: Abusers Just Lose Their Tempers Sometimes
Refuge.org also noted that people will most commonly argue that an abusive man just "loses his temper" at times, but this is not true. Abusers are in full control of their actions and are very selective about when and where they hit their partners. They also attempt to be in control of their victims.
Myth #11: Domestic Violence Is Rare
One myth that people seem to hold on to is that domestic violence is rare. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that one in four women say that they have been the victim of physical violence by an intimate partner.
Myth#12: Abusers Have Low-Self Esteem Or Insecurities
According to Huffington Post, the myth that male abusers are controlling because they have low self-esteem or are insecure is totally false. Abusers actually think they are special are think that you should be grateful for the things he gives you or allows you to do.
Myth #13: The Abuser Does Love The Person They're Abusing
Your abuser could very well love you, but not the type of love that you need. Being abused or controlled is not a way to love someone. No matter how many times they use their "love" as a reasoning for their abuse, never take that as the answer or use it to excuse their behavior.