Domestic Violence Myths

Domestic violence is an illegal activity, and a crime. However, this crime is oftentimes shrouded in secrecy, hidden behind closed doors and shuttered windows. Victims often feel terrified and fail to come forward due to their fear and feelings of shame. In many cases victims keep their abuse hidden from everyone, including family and friends. Victims of domestic violence can suffer not just physical abuse, but also emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. The veil of secrecy surrounding domestic violence continues, impacting every economic group, religious group, or ethnic group. Unfortunately, there are many myths and inaccuracies surrounding domestic violence in the United States. Many people simply have no idea what domestic violence truly looks like, or how to recognize it when they see it among family or friends. The most common myths related to domestic violence are listed below.

MYTH: Domestic violence is a private matter, and there is no need to get involved.

FACT: Domestic violence abusers know that others typically do not want to get involved in the personal or family matters of others. Understandably, many people do not want to get involved in personal matters of friends, neighbors, or family members. However, if you have any suspicions that someone you know may suffer from any kind of domestic abuse, you should absolutely contact law enforcement on their behalf for their safety. However, you should not attempt to intervene on your own as this can come with potential risks for you and the victim.

MYTH: Victims are somewhat to blame.

FACT: One of the worst myths surrounding domestic violence is that the victims themselves are somehow to blame. Some of this stems from the fact that people believe that a victim must have provoked the abuser, thus inciting their rage. However, it is critical to note that no victim is ever to blame for suffering any kind of domestic abuse — physical, emotional, financial, or sexual. There is no circumstance under which the illegal criminal act of domestic violence is warranted or justified by the victim's actions.

MYTH: It is not domestic violence; it is just a bad fight.

FACT: Many people who witness domestic abuse believe that it is just a bad fight, not actually rising to the level of domestic violence. While the facts and circumstances of every situation are different, if there is any type of manipulation, strategy to the abuse, forethought and planning, or emotional manipulation or physical harm in any way, it is domestic violence. It is important to note that abusers have the capacity to refrain from or resist physically assaulting their family, co-workers, and other friends. This is not an anger management issue; domestic violence is an illegal act of abuse against the victim.

MYTH: That would never happen here.

FACT: Many people believe there is no way that domestic violence could happen in their town, their neighborhood, their church, within their ethnicity, within their socio-economic group, or any other place where they feel comfortable. The truth is that domestic violence happens in every economic, religious, and social group.

MYTH: The domestic violence is not that bad, or the victim would leave.

FACT: Many people who have never experienced domestic violence simply have no idea how someone would not voluntarily leave that situation. Unfortunately, abusers who state that they plan to kill a victim if they leave oftentimes have a great deal of truth to their words. Statistics show that many violent abusers actually kill their victims when they attempt to leave. Additionally, it is important to note that these victims have been desensitized, demoralized, and abused over long periods of time, and in many ways may not feel that they deserve a life of safety and security. At the end of the day, leaving an abuser is not often a simple or easy task to do without help.

Get Help: Your Safety is the Priority

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or violence, you may be considering divorce. Before you make any decisions regarding any legal actions that you may take, you must get to a place of safety. Contact a domestic violence shelter or law enforcement in order to get yourself, and your children, away from any possible violence, abuse, or continued danger.

Contact an Attorney Today

If you are experiencing any kind of domestic violence situation, after taking action to ensure your own safety and health, you will have a better ability to make determinations about your future, which may include divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online today for your initial consultation.