October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence and promoting efforts to prevent and address it.
One important aspect of this awareness campaign is debunking common myths and misconceptions about domestic violence. Understanding the reality of domestic violence is crucial for supporting survivors and creating effective prevention and intervention strategies.
Below, we explain some common myths about domestic violence and the truths that debunk them.
Myth 1: Domestic Violence Only Involves Physical Abuse
Truth: Domestic violence can encompass various forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, and verbal abuse.
While physical abuse may be more visible, the other forms are equally damaging and can leave lasting scars.
Myth 2: Domestic Violence Only Affects Women
Truth: Domestic violence can impact anyone regardless of their gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
Men can also be victims of domestic violence, and it’s important not to overlook their experiences.
Myth 3: Domestic Violence is a Private Matter and Should Be Kept Within the Family
Truth: Domestic violence is a public health issue and a crime. It should never be tolerated or kept hidden.
Encouraging survivors to seek help and reporting abusive behavior is essential to protecting their safety.
Myth 4: Victims of Domestic Violence Can Easily Leave the Abusive Relationship
Truth: Leaving an abusive relationship is often difficult and dangerous. Abusers may use intimidation, threats, and manipulation to control their victims. Abusers may also have complete control over finances, making it difficult for a victim to leave.
Survivors often require support and resources to safely exit such relationships.
Myth 5: Domestic Violence Only Happens in Heterosexual Relationships
Truth: Domestic violence can occur in any type of relationship, including same-sex relationships. Abuse is about power and control and is not limited to one particular type of partnership.
Myth 6: Domestic Violence is Caused by Substance Abuse
Truth: Substance abuse is involved in about 40% to 60% of reported incidents of domestic violence. However, while substance abuse can exacerbate abusive behavior, the root cause of domestic violence is often a desire for power and control.
It is not simply a result of substance use.
Myth 7: If the Victim Doesn’t Report the Abuse, It Must Not Be That Bad
Truth: Many survivors do not report abuse due to fear, shame, financial dependence, or other reasons.
The absence of a report does not diminish the seriousness of the abuse or the need for intervention.
Myth 8: It’s Easy to Spot an Abusive Relationship
Truth: Abusive relationships are often hidden behind a facade of normalcy. Friends and family may not be aware of the abuse, as survivors often go to great lengths to hide it.
Though it’s a cliche, it’s very true that you should never judge a book by its cover. “Happy” relationships may not always be what they seem.
There are some “red flags” or indicators that someone is in an abusive relationship. Some of these indicators include:
- They want to move too fast in their relationship
- They stop their usual activities, hobbies, schooling, or work
- They constantly call, text, or email their significant other throughout the day
- They have sudden financial problems
Use Stiletto Agency’s Safety Tips and Guides
During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s important to educate ourselves and others about the realities of domestic violence and support organizations that provide assistance to survivors.
Additionally, educating ourselves on the importance of staying safe and vigilant is crucial. Stiletto Agency provides resources and training to help you adapt a new mindset and outlook on life that is sure to make you feel safe, confident, and empowered.
Our goal is to give our clients the tools and motivation they need to keep themselves safe at home, at work, and in their social lives.
Remember: Help is Always Available
Reporting domestic violence and seeking help is crucial to protect the safety and well-being of survivors. It not only breaks the cycle of abuse, but also ensures that survivors receive the support and resources they need to rebuild their lives and thrive in a violence-free environment.
Here are some resources:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Dating Abuse Helpline
- The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health
- Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Stay Safe No Matter What. Get High Quality Safety Training.
The world today poses a lot of safety threats and challenges. It’s vital to understand how to be constantly vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
It may seem like a complex task, but with the help of Stiletto Agency, we can get you started one step at a time—and soon, you’ll be unstoppable!
Learn more about Stiletto Agency’s safety coaching. Contact us today.