Many myths surround domestic violence despite it occurring across all economic and cultural backgrounds. A quarter of all women experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes. This fails to account for the millions more who endure severe verbal and emotional abuse.
Below are some of the misconceptions associated with domestic violence.
It’s not possible to love your abuser
It’s not just possible, it’s fairly common, as the women typically loved their abusers before the violence began. Even in the worst cases, many can still salvage a spark of the feelings they once shared with their abusers.
Abuse only occur when someone loses control
At the heart of domestic violence is the need to exert power and control over someone else. Therefore, many — if not most — abusers are very controlled, even in their violence. They may only hit their victims in areas where the bruises are covered and continue to exert their control over all aspects of the relationship.
Domestic violence is only physical
The spectrum of domestic violence is a continuum of behaviors. Most abusers don’t start out being physically violent. Instead, they isolate their victims and destroy their self-esteem until the victim is so demoralized that she begins to accept being beaten.
If someone abuses you, you must leave
It’s a grave disservice to this vulnerable population to demand that they walk away from their lives into a void of the unknown. It’s daunting to face leaving their children, pets, possessions and jobs for life in a woman’s shelter. The codependence of the relationships makes victims over-reliant on their abusers for even the most basic life necessities. It’s a difficult cycle to break.
Only poor, uneducated women without options get abused
As previously stated, there is no discrimination with domestic violence. All races, socioeconomic classes and cultures grapple with this problem. It even recently surfaced in the highest levels of our government, with a White House staff secretary forced to resign after allegations of domestic violence incidents with two ex-wives became public knowledge.
If you are in an abusive relationship, understand that you do have options. A Maricopa County family law attorney is one resource to tap when you are ready to break free from the abuse from a spouse or intimate partner.
Source: Cosmopolitan, “14 Misconceptions About Domestic Violence,” Jill Filipovic, accessed Feb. 16, 2018