Myths Dispelled

Myths Dispelled

Myth: "He may be a bad husband, but he is a good father"
Fact: Men who abuse their children's mothers are not good fathers because children are significantly harmed by the abuse - as direct victims, witnesses or as a result of the impact upon the non abusive parent's ability to parent.

Myth: "He wouldn't hurt her- she is pregnant".
Fact: Domestic violence often starts or worsens during pregnancy.

Myth: "Victims of domestic violence should take responsibility for the part they play in making their partner violent"
Fact: Victims are not to blame for the abuse they experience; the abuser chooses to use violence so the abuser is entirely responsible.

Myth: "Children who witness domestic abuse will grow up to perpetrate violence or be future victims"
Fact: Children who grow up with domestic violence do not necessarily go on to become perpetrators or victims. This assertion is ‘deterministic, not generally applicable, and tends to remove responsibility for the violence from the perpetrator'. Many children exposed to domestic violence recognise that it is wrong, and actively reject violence of all kinds.

Myth: "Some victims stay because they like the violence"
Fact: Victims do not ‘like' violence they just have the misfortune to be in a relationship with someone who chooses to use violence to control them. Again this type of assertion absolves the perpetrator of responsibility for the violence he/she perpetrates. It is important to recognise that abusers do not tend to use violence in the early stages of the relationship, it often happens gradually once a mutual dependency has become established.

Myth: "It only happens when they are drunk/high"
Fact: Drugs and alcohol misuse do not cause domestic abuse. It is important to acknowledge that abuse is a choice that the abuser makes, regardless of alcohol or drug consumption. Abusive people can and will be violent regardless of being drunk or high, and as such blaming substances allows them to avoid accountability for their behaviour. It is also important to recognise that even when someone is drunk or high they may still be in control. For example when he is drunk he chooses not to attack the next door neighbour or the barman and instead chooses to attack her. All the time that he is blaming alcohol or drugs he is not accepting responsibility for his abusive behaviour.