• calendar8th Oct 22 11:00 pm
  • userJamie

Domestic Violence Myths

Domestic violence, including intimate partner violence and abuse, is unfortunately far too prevalent throughout America. Yet there are still many prevalent misconceptions about domestic violence. Understanding the truths about domestic violence can help survivors, and their loved ones, know when to seek help. If you are ever in any immediate danger, please contact the police and get to safety as quickly as possible. If you are considering divorce as a result of domestic violence, contact the compassionate and dedicated family law attorneys at the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to learn more about domestic violence myths and your legal rights.

Myth #1 – Domestic Violence Is Not Serious

Although some assume domestic violence is not severe and merely a private family matter, domestic violence has adverse effects on not only survivors but their friends and family as well. Many domestic violence sufferers are reluctant to speak up about the violence, but that does not mean the issue is insignificant. According to the National Library of Medicine, domestic violence adversely and oftentimes permanently affects the victim’s mental health and quality of life. Abuse also reduces targets’ productivity, with the economic loss of domestic violence as over 12 million dollars annually.


Myth #2 – Domestic Violence Is Uncommon

The National Coalition on Domestic Violence estimates that over 10 million people experience intimate partner abuse in the United States each year. Many people who experience domestic violence do not report it, which may lead to the appearance that domestic violence is less prevalent than it is. In the United States, one out of four women and one out of nine men experience domestic violence.


Myth #3 – Domestic Violence Is Only Physical

Domestic violence can go beyond and encompass much more than physical abuse, and non-physical abuse can harm people both physically and psychologically. Examples of non-physical abuse include:

  • Denying necessities like food, water, and hygiene items.
  • Verbal berating, including name-calling and put-downs.
  • Exerting financial control over the other.
  • Controlling and manipulating their partner.
  • Isolating their partner from others, including family and friends.
  • Sexually abusing the victim or coercing the target to perform unwanted sexual activity.
  • Stalking

Myth #4- Domestic Violence Victims Were at Fault in Some Way

An unfortunate and prevalent belief by domestic violence survivors is that their partners would not have abused them if they had acted or behaved differently. However, victims are never responsible for the abuse they receive. Abusers tend to have a need to control their partners, which arises from or can be exacerbated by:

  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Jealousy
  • Anger management problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Witnessing an abusive parent
  • Beliefs that they own their partner
  • Psychological disorders and personality disorders

According to the World Health Organization, men who witnessed abuse as children are more likely to become abusers as adults, whereas women whose parents engaged in intimate partner violence are more likely to become survivors of sexual abuse.


Myth #5 – Domestic Violence Does Not Reoccur

Some people mistakenly believe that the first incidence of domestic abuse will be the last. As Domestic Sheltersreports, domestic violence typically reoccurs multiple times in relationships. Couples often go through cycles of violence repeatedly. The cycle often appears to follow this type of pattern:

  • Domestic violence abuse occurs.
  • After the incident, the abuser apologizes profusely and promises it will never happen again. The abuser may bring the victim flowers and gifts.
  • Following a peaceful period, domestic violence reoccurs.

Myth #6 – Domestic Violence Victims Often Lie About Domestic Violence

As people who have experienced domestic violence face stigma and skepticism in our society, victims are unlikely to report domestic violence. When people do speak up about domestic violence, their claims are often credible. Although lies about domestic abuse can happen, they are rare. Many cases lack physical evidence of abuse, causing others to doubt that harm occurred. Although some people believe that victims tend to make false allegations of abuse, the opposite is actually much more prevalent. Unfortunately, in many cases, domestic violence victims are more likely to claim that abuse did not happen than to speak out and ask for help.

Myth #7 – Only Men Commit Domestic Violence

The idea that only men perpetrate domestic violence is one of the most prevalent domestic violence myths. Although more females than males experience domestic violence, people of all genders can be victims of domestic violence. One in nine men experiences domestic violence in the United States. Additionally, little difference was discovered between men’s and women’s motivations for domestic violence.

In one study, women were more likely than men to report self-defense as a reason for domestic violence. Like men, women who abuse their partners want to control them. They may believe that they can get away with abusing their partners since society often casts men as abusers and women as targets. Other reasons why women perpetrate violence against their partners include:

  • Wanting to get revenge on their partners for indiscretions, such as infidelity
  • Trying to get their partner’s attention
  • Retaliation for violence and self-defense

Myth #8 – Domestic Violence Does Not Impact Children

In the United States, more than 15 million children grow up in homes where domestic violence occurs. Even when children do not suffer physical abuse, domestic violence in the home can harm young people. Witnessing one parent abuse the other constitutes child abuse and can negatively impact a child’s life. Children who observe one parent abuse the other suffer adverse psychological outcomes.

According to research from the World Health Organization, children can experience negative physical outcomes, as well as psychological harm, as a result of seeing one parent harm the other parent.

Preschool-aged children who see abuse can exhibit:

  • Bedwetting
  • Stuttering
  • Thumb sucking
  • Severe separation anxiety
  • Increased crying and whining
  • Terror

School-aged children who witness domestic violence can experience:

  • Self-blame
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Bad grades
  • Fewer friends
  • Withdrawal from extracurricular activities

Highschoolers who grow up in families with domestic violence tend to engage in:

  • Fighting
  • Unprotected sex
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Bullying
  • Juvenile delinquent behavior
  • Like younger children, they can also have lower self-esteem.

To learn more about how to ensure your legal and financial rights can be protected following domestic violence, reach out to the experienced divorce attorneys at the Colorado Divorce Law Group.

Myth #9 – Domestic Violence Is Not Related To Animal Abuse

People who abuse animals are also likely to harm their partners. Animal abuse can also be part of domestic abuse. In fact, in 80% of domestic violence cases, the abuser threatens to harm a family pet or abuses the pet. Abusive people use threats against pets to control their partners.

Myth #10 – Domestic Violence Only Impacts Younger People

Older people can be victims of domestic violence. The National Library of Medicine predicts that the amount of older people affected by domestic violence will increase in the next two decades. Older individuals can experience neglect, which is a form of abuse. Signs of elder abuse in victims include:

  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Bed sores
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Poor dental hygiene

Resources for Domestic Abuse Survivors

People who experience domestic violence should call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or the police if they feel unsafe. These resources are available and open all the time. Available languages include English and Spanish and over 200 languages through interpretation services.

Contact a Compassionate and Experienced Colorado Domestic Violence Lawyer

Before anything else, it is important to always seek safety if you are a victim of domestic violence. Please call 911 or another domestic violence abuse victim organization immediately. Domestic violence myths can prevent people from seeking help when abuse occurs. In the state of Colorado, domestic violence is a crime, and domestic violence survivors have legal rights. People who have experienced domestic violence can contact the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to learn more about their legal rights, and how to file for divorce following domestic violence.