Myth #1: "Domestic violence occurs only in poor, uneducated, and minority families."
Domestic violence knows no bias; domestic abuse can affect any race, socioeconomic class, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, or level of education. Part of the source for this myth is that individuals of a "poor, uneducated, and minority" background tend to be highly overrepresented in shelters and with calls to the police. This is mostly due to the lack of resources that are available to these categories of people.
Myth #2: Alcohol abuse causes domestic violence.
This myth creates a huge problem for victims and a huge cop-out for abusers. This myth essentially states that alcohol is a reason for perpetrators to abuse their partners or families members. The stating of a causal relationship between alcohol (or other substances, such as drugs) excuses the abuser for his or her behavior. By creating an excuse for the abuser, the victim is stuck having to see past the haze of alcohol and substances and decide what steps to take about their situation.
Myth #3: Battered women are masochistic and provoke the abuse. They must like it or they would leave.
There is never a good reason for an individual to put his or her hands on a partner or family member. Throughout the course of an argument or discussion it is common for two individuals to become emotional or irrational in thought or action. However, regardless of what one person says to the other, there is never justification to cause physical, emotional, or psychological damage against a partner to gain control or to cause harm. On top of that, there are many reasons why it can be difficult for an individual to leave an abusive partner, especially if that individual is a woman with an abusive male partner. Common reasons a woman might stay in an abusive relationship could be: financial dependence, shared children or shared custody of a child, emotional attachment, no other family or safe resources, or fear for the safety of themselves or potentially a child. A woman does not stay in an abusive relationship because she likes, rather she may stay in the relationship for a slew of other reasons.
These are just three of hundreds of myths that exist around this topic. A quick Google search would reveal that a lot of the things we think to be true about domestic violence are really just myths or misconceptions. It is important to always be conscious of what we think to be true and what the truth of a situation may actually be.
As always, remember to speak up, speak out, and wear purple!