The 3 Biggest Myths About Domestic Violence By Dr. Lisa Cooney

Domestic violence is an epidemic. To put an end to it, we must see through the myths that run rampant about this form of abuse.

Myth #1: It’s not a problem

Let me share some statistics with you about domestic violence in the United States alone:

  • Every minute, 20 people (on average) are physically abused by their intimate partner
  • This equals more than 10 million people annually
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of violence by an intimate partner
  • More than 20,000 phone calls are made to the domestic violence hotlines every day


As you can see by these statistics, domestic violence is very much a problem.

Myth #2: My partner never hits me; therefore it’s not domestic violence

The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic abuse as:

“… a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one
partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate
partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic,
or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another
person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate,
isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound

When we buy into the myth that domestic violence only includes physical abuse,
all the other forms of abuse go unreported and often undetected by people who
can help.

Myth #3: It was just once, it won’t happen again

Many of my clients have admitted to me that they saw a bit of violence early on in
their relationships yet denied it. They wanted to see the person’s potential rather than who they really were. But then, in the majority of cases, the violent
communications lead to violent behavior. One incident lead to an apology and a
period of calm but then the story repeated itself and the abuse continued.

If something scares you, makes you nervous, or causes doubt, pay attention, the
first time. Get support. Call the domestic violence hotline (number below). Please
don’t become one of the statistics.

As a culture, we have become desensitized to acts of violence. We see
gruesome acts of violence in movies and on television that make the
manipulations, threats, and coercions that occur at home seem mild; not worth
reporting or speaking out about.

But if we remain silent, if we remain tolerant of these acts of abuse, we are enabling the violence to continue. We are contributing to the violence.

If you know someone who may be committing or experiencing domestic violence,
or if you are in an abusive situation, please call the hotline below. You do not
have to fix or solve the issue on your own. There is expert, skillful, confidential
support available to you.

Let’s kick abuse in the caboose together and eradicate and eliminate all forms of
abuse off the planet. This is possible when we take a stand and speak out to put
an end to domestic violence.

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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