Domestic Abuse Challenging the Myths

There are many myths around domestic abuse and its causes.
Here are just some examples.

Myth #1: Alcohol and drugs make men more violent.

Reality: Alcohol and drugs can make existing abuse worse, or be a catalyst for an attack, but they DO NOT cause domestic abuse. Many people use alcohol or drugs and DO NOT abuse their partner so it should never be used to excuse violent or controlling behaviour.

Myth #2: If it was THAT bad, she’d leave.

Reality: Women stay in abusive relationships for many different reasons, and it can be very difficult for a woman to leave an abusive partner – even if she wants to. Like any other relationship, one that ends in abuse began with falling in love and being in love. Abuse rarely starts at the beginning of a relationship, but when it is established and often harder to leave. Women in abusive relationships need support and understanding – not judgement

Myth #3: Men who abuse women are mentally unwell.

Reality: There is no research that supports this myth. Abuse and violence are a choice, and there is no excuse for them. Domestic abuse happens throughout every level of society, regardless of health, wealth or status.

Myth #4: All couples argue – it’s not domestic abuse, it’s just a normal relationship.

Reality: Abuse and disagreement are not the same things. Different opinions are normal and completely acceptable in healthy relationships. Abuse is not a disagreement – it is the use of physical, sexual, emotional or psychological violence or threats in order to govern and control another person’s thinking, opinions, emotions and behaviour. When abuse is involved, there is no discussion between equals. There is control and fear of saying or doing the ‘wrong’ thing.

Myth #5: Men who abuse their partners saw their fathers abuse their mothers.

Reality: Domestic abuse is prevalent throughout society, and because of this many people have grown up witnessing domestic abuse. Most of these people will never perpetrate domestic abuse in their own relationships, so it is never an excuse – and some of the most passionate supporters are child survivors of domestic abuse. Check out

Myth #6: Women are attracted to abusive men.

Truth: Domestic abuse is prevalent throughout society, and it is not uncommon for a woman to experience abuse in more than one relationship. To suggest that some women are particularly attracted to abusive men is victim-blaming. A perpetrator of domestic abuse can be charming and charismatic when he first meets a new partner, and often no one, let alone the woman he has just met, would suspect he would ever be abusive in a relationship.

Myth #7: Women often lie about abuse.

Truth: False allegations about domestic abuse are extremely rare.
This myth is extremely damaging, because the fear of being called a liar can and does deter women from reporting the abuse they have experienced.

Myth #8: Women are just as abusive as men.

Reality: In the vast majority of cases, domestic abuse is experienced by women and perpetrated by men. Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse, and sexual violence particularly. Domestic abuse exists as part of the wider spectrum of violence against women and girls, which also includes different forms of family violence such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called “honour crimes” that are perpetrated primarily by family members.

Help us challenge some of the most widely-believed and deep-rooted misconceptions.
Get in touch if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and would benefit from support.