Myths & Facts

MYTH: Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.

FACT: In 2012, 28,729 domestic abuse incidents were reported to law enforcement and referred to Wisconsin district attorneys’ offices. In 2013, domestic violence claimed 55 lives in Wisconsin.
In 2013, firearms were the weapon used in 51% (20) of the domestic violence homicide incidents. Firearms are the most common means of perpetration in domestic violence homicides in Wisconsin.

Domestic Violence Resulting in Homicide in Taylor County

























*Perpetrators then committed suicide.      °Info taken from End Abuse Domestic Violence Homicide Report

MYTH: Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.

FACT: Abuse is not an accident. It does not happen because someone was stressed-out, drinking, or using drugs. These issues may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abuse is an intentional act that one person uses in a relationship to control the other. Abusers have learned to abuse so that they can get what they want. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence.

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

FACT: Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families, rich and poor, urban, suburban and rural, in every part of the country, in every racial, religious and age group.

MYTH: Domestic violence is an anger control issue.

FACT: Domestic violence has nothing to do with anger. Anger is a tool abusers use to get what they want. We know abusers are actually very much in control because they can stop when someone knocks on the door or the phone rings; they often direct punches and kicks to parts of the body where the bruises are less likely to show; and they are not abusing everyone who makes them "angry", but waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the one he says he loves.

MYTH: Domestic violence incidents usually happen only once or twice in a relationship.

FACT: Abusers usually escalate violent behaviors in frequency and intensity over time.

MYTH: Children aren't aware of the violence in their home.

FACT: Studies show that most children are aware of the violence in their home.

MYTH: Children are not at risk for being hurt or injured.

FACT: Men who abuse their partners are more likely to abuse the children in the home. Domestic violence is the number one predictor for child abuse. Subjecting children to an environment full of violent actions and hateful words is not being a "good dad."

MYTH: Boys who witness violence will grow up to be abusers.

FACT: Studies have found that 30% of male child witnesses choose to become abusers as adults.The majority of children, male and female, who witness domestic violence become advocates for children when they grow up; committed to raising their children without the use of violence and going into professions where they work to end violence against all children.

Young men in our society must never feel they are destined to become violent. We send a dangerous message to young men and boys when we imply they are fated to become violent and we give abusers an excuse for their behavior.

MYTH: Some people deserve to be hit/the abuse is often provoked.

FACT: No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.

MYTH: It’s easy to spot an abuser/abuse.

FACT: Abusers are not always easy to spot. There is no 'typical' abuser. In public, they may appear friendly and loving to their partner and family. They often only abuse behind closed doors. They also try to hide the abuse by causing injuries that can be hidden and do not need a doctor.

MYTH: If it were that bad, he/she would just leave.

FACT: There are many reasons why a person may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim wants to be abused.

Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.

Many victims do leave and lead successful, violence free lives.
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