Domestic Abuse Myths and Their Causes

At VSupport, our greatest challenge comes not just from fighting domestic abuse but also from working to dispel the fallacies associated with domestic abuse. In India, there are many widespread myths around domestic abuse and its causes. Through our work, we aim to challenge these widely-believed and deep-rooted misconceptions by dispelling common myths.

Myths V/s Truth

Myth 1 – Domestic violence is always physical.

Truth – Domestic abuse is not always about physical violence. Domestic abuse can include patterns of controlling one’s partner, threats, degradation of the partner’s character, sexual violence, emotional abuse, harassment, stalking, financial abuse, control by coercion, and even digital abuse.

Myth 2 – If the woman is not leaving, then it must not be that bad

Truth – Women may stay in an abusive relationship for many reasons. This can range from fear, embarrassment, low-self esteem, lack of resources to leave, family or societal pressure, religious reasons, fear for their children’s safety or simply because they have nowhere else to go.

Myth 3 – Abuse is only a momentary loss of control

Truth – Domestic violence is not about anger management or an inability to handle stress. Rather, it is a pattern of behaviour that is based largely on demonstrating control. An abuser may consciously choose the time, manner, and acts of abuse to ensure that no one is around to witness.

Myth 4 - The consumption of drugs and alcohol always lead to more violence

Truth – Drugs and alcohol are never the root cause of domestic abuse – they only elevate or accelerate the existing abuse. However, when an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to lose control of themselves, increasing the changes of abusive behaviour.

Myth 5 – A violent partner can still be a good parent, as long as they don’t abuse the children.

Truth – In around 90% cases of domestic violence, children witness the abuse of one of their parents – often leaving them scarred or traumatized. This can impact their emotional and psychological growth, which has life long effects.