1. Only a small percentage of the population is affected by domestic violence. FACT: Violence occurs at least once in 2/3 of all relationships. 85% of domestic violence victims are women and men are most likely to be victims of both physical and psychological abuse with 63% of males having a deadly weapon used against them.
  2. Battered victims are usually poor, uneducated and have few job skills. FACT: Domestic violence does not discriminate among age, race, class, education, occupation, and religious groups.
  3. Drinking causes violent behavior. FACT: Many batterers also abuse alcohol and a violent situation may escalate with drinking, but the alcohol DOES NOT CAUSE the violence.
  4. A battered partner can always leave the home: “If it’s so bad, why don’t they just leave?” FACT: Economic and emotional dependency, children and threats all make it difficult to leave a violent relationship. Instead of asking why doesn’t the victim leave, ask why doesn’t the abuser stop abusing? Domestic violence is 3rd leading cause of homelessness for families.
  5. People who abuse their partners rarely abuse their children and children who merely witness the abuse are not adversely affected. FACT: More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in the home on a yearly basis. Boys who become adults are twice as likely to abuse their partners and children, and girls are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults. 81% of abusers were abused as children or witnessed abuse at home.
  6. Most victims who are able to leave a violent relationship will not return. FACT: Victims leave an abusive relationship an average of 7 times before they leave for good, but 60-70% of battered victims do get out eventually.
  7. The victim is responsible for the abuse because they “provoke” the abuser. FACT:  An abuser is responsible for their own actions.  They have many options for dealing with their anger.
  8. Battering incidents do not increase in severity over time. FACT: Battering tends to worsen from beating to beating. Many of the injuries sustained by the victim require medical attention. The cost of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion a year; about $4.1 billion going towards medical and mental health services. Victims lose around 8 million days of work pay.
  9. Men are more likely to help a woman being attacked by a man than to help a man being attacked by another man. FACT: Men are more likely to intervene in a fight between two men than in a fight between a woman and a man. Most people believe that domestic violence is a “private affair” and none of anyone’s business.
  10. A partner cannot be raped in a relationship. FACT:  In an intimate relationship, rape is the most underreported crime. Twice as many women have been raped by their husbands than by strangers.
  11. It is uncommon for a husband to batter his wife during her pregnancy. FACT: About 25% of women are victims of domestic violence are beaten while they are pregnant.