My Sister's Place

Services to empower survivors of domestic violence
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202-529-5991

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5 Myths

1. It couldn't happen to me.
Intimate partner violence occurs in all parts of society. No one chooses to date an abuser. Abusers hide their true colors until AFTER it becomes difficult to leave the relationship.  

2. She is partly to blame.
A woman has no control over the actions of her abuser and it is NEVER her fault Abusers often make unrealistic demands and expect the impossible.  Victims become exhausted trying please them to keep the peace. Abusers use violence, emotional and verbal abuse, threats, children, finances and other tactics to maintain power and control in the relationship. They blame the victim to justify and continue their own abusive behavior.

3. It's easy to leave.
Many women DO leave, but it is NOT easy. Abuse often starts after the relationship is hard to leave, and abusers use manipulative tactics like apologizing, promising to change, or blaming the victim to keep her around. Most victims are afraid to leave and many donít have the financial resources to leave or a place to go.  The victim also knows that her level of danger increases when she is about to leave and she thinks no one can protect her.  She may also feel she has limited options if he has isolated her from her family and friends or if he controls the finances.  

4. He just loses control sometimes.
People don't abuse because they are out of control.  Domestic violence is a choice and abusers are rarely violent outside of the relationship. They are very careful about where and when they choose to abuse in order to hide their actions. If the police are called, it is usually the victim who is hysterical while the abuser is calm. Violence is a calculated tactic that abusers use to maintain power and control. And while drugs and alcohol may cause abusers to be more violent, these substances do not cause abusive behavior.

5. There is nothing I can do.
There are three things anyone can do to help victims of domestic violence.

First, you can believe their stories and honor them. When people dismiss or blame them, survivors are re-victimized. Second, we must hold batterers accountable. We must not make excuses for unacceptable behavior or be afraid to get involved in family matters. Third, we can donate or volunteer with an organization like MSP to help eradicate domestic violence.