Myth 1: Domestic violence is a new social problem.
Fact: Abuse against women is not something new. It has been historically tolerated. For example, the widely used term “rule of thumb” is derived from English common law from 1767 and allowed the husband to “punish his wife with a whip no thicker than his thumb.”
Myth 2: Domestic violence occurs more often among certain categories of people.
Fact: Domestic violence knows no ethnicity, race, economic status, religion or age. It happens in the same way in homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships.
Myth 3: Most sexual abuses happen to strangers.
Fact: Between 70% and 85% of women who are sexually abused are abused by men they know. 6 out of 10 sexual attacks take place in a private residence, and 4 out of 10 occur even in the victim’s home.
Myth 4: The women remain in abusive relationships because they want to.
Fact: A woman may feel that she can’t leave for several reasons, such as:
- She loves the aggressor and hopes that, in time, the relationship will improve.
- She feels it is wrong to separate the family, and her relatives might even encourage these feelings.
- The abuse she was subjected to has isolated her from friends and family.
- She is afraid that her family and the community will blame her for the abuse, or is ashamed and alone, and already blames herself for the abuse in her life.
- She is scared for her and her children’s safety because she was threatened that if they try to leave something bad would happen.
- She is entirely dependent on her partner’s income.
- She has nowhere to go.
Myth 5: Alcohol is the reason why men abuse their partners.
Fact: Research shows that the consumption of alcohol tends to be associated with violence especially in cultures where alcohol is used as an excuse for unacceptable social behaviors. Many abusers say they were “unaware” because they were drunk or drugged, and therefore did not have any control over their actions. However, a person can’t really manifest an unconscious behavior that he did not have in the past and they would not be able to have a new or previously untrained behavior, unless they are well aware of their actions. The real reason for the abuse is actually the abuser’s desire for power and total control over his partner. Abusers often use alcohol as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior.
Myth 6: Men who abuse their partners have mental issues.
Fact: Psychological characteristics of abusers are extremely diverse, so much so that none can be connected directly to pathological abuse. Research has shown that neither personality traits or the nature of medical factors differentiate abusive men from the rest of the population.
Most abusive men, don’t act violent outside the couple. They don’t hit their bosses or colleagues at work. When abusive men hit their partners, they often target parts of the body where bruises can not be seen. If abusers did indeed have mental issues, then they would not selectively limit or control their aggression.
Myth 7: Women often provoke the attacks and deserve what they get.
Fact: Violence is a tool that men use to dominate and control women. Abusive men know that their wives or girlfriends are scared of them and therefore use violence as a method of control. When a man is inclined to be violent, none of the victim’s behavior or responses can make the abuser stop. She can yell at him, hit him back, run or hide, but none of this will make him stop his abusive and violent behavior.
Some men expect their wives to know what they want before they even tell them. Then they blame their wives for not doing what they expected them to do. This way, the abuser will create in his mind “a challenge” that is based strictly on expectations that were unspoken. For example, abused women sometimes testified that their husbands abused them just because “I made poached eggs in a wrong way”, “I did not lower the radio’s volume enough”, or “I went out with my girl friends without asking for his permission beforehand”.
The abusers justify their behavior by “they deserved it”. An abuser will almost always say his partner provoked him in order to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.
No woman, child, or any other person deserves to be abused physically, emotionally or psychologically.
Myth 8: Pregnant women are protected from abuses.
Fact: Many women begin to be abused during pregnancy. The reasons why this happens include:
- Increased stress of a financial nature.
- Pregnancy becomes the center of her attention, triggering his jealousy and the fear of abandonment, which begins to manifest itself in an abusive way.
- Abusive men can see the child as an intruder and the pregnancy as something that they can not control or exercise power over.
Did you know that:
- Domestic violence causes temporary disability to a greater extent than traffic accidents and infectious diseases?
- Domestic violence annually produces more victims than cancer?
- Domestic violence causes more casualties than wars?
- In Romania, because of domestic violence around 200 people, out of which 10% are children, lose their lives or are about to lose it every year?
- 3 out of 10 patients who were hospitalized for mental illness have experienced abuse in the family?
- 1 in 4 women is a victim of some form of abuse at least once in her life?
- In 50% of the cases in which men abuse their partners, children are also abused?
- 51.3% of those who were asked believe that domestic violence is a subject of public interest;
- 37.5% of those who were asked believe that violence against women is not seriously condemned by the Romanian authorities;
- 66% of the population believes that the state should tighten legislation on domestic violence;
- 79.5% of the population believes that the police should intervene in cases of domestic violence;
- 43.5% of the population declared that “since the beginning of 2013, they heard through their friends or neighborhood, about domestic violence situations”;
- 75.7% of the Romanians agree with the idea that “any woman abused may, at any time, separate from her husband.”
Source: 2013 – ”Public opinion barometer – The truth about Romania” – INSCOP Research