Common Myths about Domestic Violence:

It is only abuse if your partner hits you: Interpersonal violence comes in many forms. As a society, we focus most of our attention on physical violence, characterized as hitting, slapping or punching. However, other forms of abuse are equally damaging. These other forms of abuse include:

  • Controlling: Controlling what the partner does, whom she/he sees, talks to, and where the partner goes.

  • Using Male Privilege: He treats partner like a servant.

  • Intimidation: Abusive partner instills fear by using looks, actions, loud voice, destroying property or pets.

  • Using Children: Partner uses children to pass on messages. Visitation is often used as an opportunity to harass, or make the victim feel guilty about leaving.


He/She lost control: Abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior. The Intimate partner’s violence is not about anger. The goal of an abusive person is to establish and maintain control over their partner.


She/He likes the abuse: There are complex reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Unfortunately, it is easier to blame the victim instead of addressing the complexities. Some of the contributing factors to victims staying include:


  • Degree of Violence: The likelihood of victims leaving is often correlated to the severity of the violence experienced

  • Resources Available: The more economically dependent a victim is on his/her partner, the more likely he/she is to stay

  • Childhood Experience with Abuse: Adults that come from violent homes are more likely to stay in abusive relationships.

Additionally, separation is often the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence. According to the Department of Justice, 75% of domestic violence homicides occur after separation.



What is Battering?

Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.

Batterer Characteristics:

The behavioral warning signs of a potential batterer include extreme possessiveness, unpredictability, cruelty to animals and verbal abusiveness. He/she may also share the following characteristics:

Uses violence when he/she feels they are losing control over a partner.

A male batterer will often objectify women.

Refusal to hold themselves accountable for violence

A batterer may appear to be pleasant and charming between periods of violence. Outsiders see batterers as a nice guy/girl.

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