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11 myths about domestic violence

In this article, we will debunk 11 myths about domestic violence by contrasting them with actual proven facts.

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1. Myth: The victim most likely did something to provoke the violence

Fact: Whatever the problems in a relationship, using violence never helps to solve them. Problems do not justify the use of violence between two people.

The abuser usually starts with intimidation and isolation techniques as he wants to control his victim. Women who are victims of domestic violence often describe their abusers in contradictory ways. For them, they are wonderful husbands with good character, and this leads the victim to think that they most likely did something to provoke the violence that is happening.

2. Myth: A true abuser manifests as such in relationships with all people

Fact: Just the opposite. Perpetrators choose their victims and treat them in a way they would treat no one else. For them, violence is a way to demonstrate power in relation to the particular person. Under different circumstances and in a different environment of people, bullies would seem like cool and charming coworkers, team members, etc.

3. Myth: If the situation is really that bad, the victim will leave the abuser

Fact: The moment when the victim decides to leave her abuser can be the most dangerous for her life. It is not uncommon for the abuser to threaten his victim with murder or suicide. And when children are also involved in the situation, they can become the object of blackmail, threats that one parent will be deprived of parental rights, etc. Over time, the abuser gradually cuts off the victim’s contacts with her friends and relatives, begins to control her finances so that she stays at home and does not have the opportunity to move out of the shared home.

4. Myth: Domestic violence is wrong, but it doesn't happen that often

Fact: Contrary to popular belief that domestic violence is rare, it is important to know that it is not only a problem for antisocial, lower income or minority groups. Abusive relationships also occur among women with successful careers and many opportunities, in wealthy families, both in large cities and in smaller ones.

5. Myth: Domestic violence is a family problem

Fact: Domestic violence is a public problem for which Bulgarian society must take measures. Keeping domestic violence a secret doesn’t help anyone, it’s also proven to harm children in the family and spreads much more easily and quickly when it’s not talked about.

6. Myth: Domestic violence is simply an inability to control impulses or outbursts of anger

Fact: The abuser acts purposefully and deliberately – he chooses who to use domestic violence on. For example, he will choose to harass his wife at home, but not his colleagues at the office.

7. Myth: Domestic violence does not affect children. In fact, they don't evennotice it

Fact: When children witness domestic violence, they can become traumatized. Even toddlers who haven’t spoken yet understand what’s going on.

8. Myth: Violence is provoked by problems with alcohol, stress or mental instability

Fact: Although alcohol, stress or psychological problems can go hand in hand with domestic violence, it is important to know that they are not the root cause. Abusers themselves admit that they use these reasons to justify their behavior.

9. Myth: The abuser is jealous and controlling because they have low self-esteem and feel insecure about themselves

Fact: In fact, the opposite happens – abusers feel special. Therefore, when the victim thinks “I will stay with him, I will support him and the problem will go away”, the problem starts to increase. The abuser needs attention, he begins to take over more and more of his victim’s life, and when he does not get what he asked for, he begins to punish. He thinks that he is always right and the victim should be grateful that he came into her life because she can’t handle anything on her own. Violence is always justified and blamed on the victim (“You know how to make me lose my temper”).

10. Myth: If the abuser repents and promises not to do it again, the abuse will stop

Fact: A guilty conscience and asking for forgiveness is a technique an abuser uses to maintain control over their victim. Cases of true repentance, when the abuser finally stops the acts of violence, are all too rare.

11. Myth: Victims of abuse are the type of person who attracts abusers and provokes violence

Fact: Scientific studies do not find any regularity in which a certain type of personality or character predetermines whether a person is a potential victim of domestic violence. Abuse is always the abuser’s fault, not the victim’s.

Educate your friends and acquaintances

Now that you know what the main myths are, you can help us debunk 11 myths about domestic violence. For this purpose, it is important to share with more people – friends and acquaintances, in order to be a more informed society that does not tolerate cases of domestic violence.

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