There are many myths and misconceptions that circle around sexual and domestic violence. Below learn about the facts of each myth.
Fact: Domestic violence is everyone's business, keeping domestic violence secret helps no one. In fact it's been shown to cause more harm to children, incurs substantial costs to society, and serves to perpetrate abuse through learning patters of behavior.
Myth: Victims provoke their partner's violence.
Fact: Whatever problems exist in a relationship, the use of violence is never justifiable or acceptable. There is NO EXCUSE for domestic violence.
Myth: Domestic violence is an impulse control or anger management problem.
Fact: Abusers act deliberately & with forethought. Abusers choose whom to abuse. For example, an abuser will selectively batter their partner but not their boss.
Myth: Most of the time, domestic violence is not really that serious.
Fact: Domestic violence is an illegal act in the U.S.; although there are aspects of DV (ie. emotional, psychological, spiritual abuse) that may not be considered criminal in a legal sense, serious and long-lasting harm can, and often does occur. Each and every act of DV need to be taken seriously.
Myth: It is easy for a victim to leave their abuser.
Fact: Many victims can't leave due to fear, lack of safe options, and inability to survive economically. The most dangerous time for a victim is when they attempt to leave or when the abuser discovers their plans to leave.
Myth: Domestic violence is bad but it happens elsewhere.
Fact: Domestic violence happens to people of every educational & socioeconomic level. Domestic violence happens in all races, religions, and age groups. Domestic violence occurs in both heterosexual and same sex-relationships.
Myth: Domestic violence is a private family matter.
Myth: Victims provoke sexual assault when they dress provocatively or in a promiscuous manner.
Fact: Rape and sexual assault are crimes of violence and control that stems from a person's determination to exercise power over another. Forcing someone to engage in non-consensual sexual activity is sexual assault, regardless of the way that person dresses or acts.
Myth: It's not sexual assault if it happens after drinking or taking drugs.
Fact: Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an invitation for non-consensual sexual activity. A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not cause others to assault them; others choose to take advantage of the situation.
Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
Fact: Men can be, and are, sexually assaulted. Sexual assault of men is thought to be greatly under reported. Any man can be sexually assaulted regardless of size, strength, sexual orientation, or appearance.
Fact: Many rape survivors are not visibly injured. The threat of violence alone is often sufficient cause for a survivor to submit to the rapist, to protect themselves from physical harm. Reactions may range from composure to anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and suicidal feelings.
Fact: Rape is the least reported and convicted violence crime in the U.S. There are many reasons why survivors may choose not to report to law enforcement or tell anyone what happened. Such as fear of the attackers, fear of being blamed, or concern for not being believed.
Fact: Alcohol is a weapon that some perpetrators use to control their victims and render them helpless. An assailant may encourage the victim to use alcohol, or pursue someone who is already drunk. Alcohol is not a cause of assault; it is only one of many tools that perpetrators use.