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Myths & Facts of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault 

MYTH:  Domestic violence is rare.

FACT:  Domestic violence affects 1 out of 4 women at some point during her lifetime.  Men can also be victims of domestic violence, but women make up about 97% of domestic violence survivors.  Domestic violence happens equally in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

MYTH:  If a person stays in an abusive relationship then the abuse may not be that bad.

FACT: Leaving can be extremely difficult and unsafe for survivors. In fact, leaving is the most dangerous time and survivors are 7X more likely to become a victim of homicide. Additionally, economical barriers caused by financial abuse make it extremely difficult for survivors to leave

MYTH:  If a victim of sexual assault does not fight back, they must have thought the assault was not that bad or they wanted it.

FACT:  Many survivors experience tonic immobility or a “freeze response” during an assault where they physically cannot move or speak.

MYTH:  The only form of elder abuse that happens is financial abuse perpetrated randomly through online or telephone scams.

FACT:  Elders actually experience all forms of abuse including physical and sexual abuse and it is reported that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 experience elder abuse.

MYTH:  Domestic violence is an "uncontrollable behavior" usually as a result of one losing their temper. 

FACT:  Battering is a pattern of coercion and control that one person exerts over another. Battering is not just one physical attack. It includes the repeated use of a number of tactics, including intimidation, threats, economic deprivation, isolation, psychological and sexual abuse.

MYTH:  It takes two to tango - abuse in relationships is usually caused by both people. 

FACT:   Violence and abuse within an intimate relationship are nearly always used by one partner to control and dominate the other. Many victims try to defend themselves or fight back, but are not trying to control the other person. Victims often change their behavior, hoping to stop the abuse, but this rarely works.

MYTH:  Domestic Violence only happens in low-income families.

FACT:  Domestic violence is an equal opportunity destroyer. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or educational background. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 3 people will become a victim of some form of violence in their lifetime regardless, of any of these factors. 

MYTH:  Men cannot be victims of domestic violence.

FACT:  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,1 in 9 men will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Reporting numbers for males are also most likely to be low due to stigmas associated with masculinity. Many male survivors experience shame, guilt, fear 

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