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Myths vs. Facts
About Domestic Violence

l. Domestic violence occurs primarily in the lower economic classes.

ANSWER: False. Domestic violence is wide-spread and occurs among all classes of people. It is important to remember that middle and upper class people tend to have more resources at their disposal, thus keeping their problems more hidden. Those with less resources have only the police and public institutions to rely on for help, so their problems are more visible.

2. Battering is caused by alcoholism and drug addiction.

ANSWER: False. Many batterers don't drink or use drugs at all. There's no excuse for battering, although batterers will use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for their behavior.

3. It's easy to just pack up and leave an abusive relationship.

ANSWER: This is not true. Batterers tend to isolate their partners from money, obtaining a job, family, and friends. The difficulty of paying for childcare and living expenses make it almost impossible to just pack up and leave, especially if there are children involved.

4. Women are the only victims of domestic violence.

ANSWER: This is not true. Men are also victims of domestic violence, but many are embarrassed to report the abuse.

5. Children in domestic violence households tend to grow up to be victims or abusers.

ANSWER. This is unfortunately true. Even though children appear to be asleep or don't talk about what they hear or see, they are affected. Children mimic what the adults in their lives do, and the cycle of violence continues.

6. It's easy to just drop the charges after an arrest. After all, your partner promises the violence will never happen again.

ANSWER: Not true. The Office of the State Attorney, l8th Judicial Circuit, takes the issue of domestic violence and public safety very seriously. The office makes the ultimate decision on how to proceed with the case based upon the best interests of the victim and the community.

7. Batterers are always mean and vicious people.

ANSWER: This is not necessarily true. Many who batter can be nice people, and they come from all social and economic classes. Many batterers have no documented criminal history.

8. The abuse will eventually stop.

ANSWER: Not true. Without professional help for the batterer, the abuse will not stop. The abuse usually becomes more frequent and more violent, sometimes resulting in death.

9. The cycle of violence is broken when the relationship ends.

ANSWER: This is definitely not true. The most dangerous time for domestic or dating violence victims can be when they leave or attempt to leave the relationship without a safety plan. Without intervention, batterers will continue to abuse.

11. It is impossible to break the cycle of domestic violence.

ANSWER: False. There are many programs for treatment and assistance that can help to change your life.

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