Myths and prejudices

Even today in our society, there are still many myths and prejudices concerning domestic violence. Here are some examples:


Domestic violence is a disease.

Violence is not a disease. It is a behavior chosen by the person who uses it to dominate and control the other.

The use of alcohol or drugs is a cause of domestic violence.

No drug substance or situation justifie a violent behavior. The true cause of violence is the desir of control the other against her will. The real cause of violence is the desire of control over the other against their will.

My partner is nice with others, I must do something to make him mad at me.

Men who use violence against their partners are not necessarily violent indivuals in their social or professional relationships. The agressor mainly attacks his partner, his children or his family because he feels justified in doing so. Violence is the abuser’s chosen means of exercising control and there is nothing you do or can do to be responsible for it.

The man is not the only responsible of his violence.

He is 100% responsible of his violent behaviors. However, he will seek to make his partner look responsible of his violence so that she doesn’t leave him and doesn’t denounce him. No one seeks or provokes the violence of the other. It is his behavior and he alone is responsible for it. No one deserves to suffer violence.

I must not break the family, I will traumatize the children.

The victim does not have to feel guilty to break the family. It is not the breaking up of the family that traumatizes the children, they are the victims. Living in a violent family context causes trauma.

Domestic violence is a private matter.

Domestic violence is an important social matter. The fact that people think is a private matter condemns the victims to remain under the influence of their aggressor and makes it harder to others to intervene; which, therefore, perpetuates violence. Some acts of violence are criminal in nature, whether they occur inside or outside the couple.

I must have a serious problem to still believe in his promises, to leave him and always come back to him.

Domestic violence is experienced in the form of a cycle that includes a honeymoon period. During this period, women experience a lot of hope and believe in the promises of change.  It is often for these reasons that women return with their spouses. For more information, see the « violence » section.

Domestic violence is caused by a « loss of control ».
Domestic violence does not result from a loss of control, but on the contrary constitutes a chosen means of dominating his partner and asserting his power over her in orther to take control.
Women who are victims of domestic violence like it, otherwise they wouldn't stay.

Women stay by their spouses for various complex reasons:

  • They are trapped in the  cycle de la volence;
  • They are ashamed, they feel guilty and helpless;
  • They fear being judged and not being believed;
  • They think he can change, because he promised;
  • They are afraid of his threats and fear for the children;
  • They fear consequences if they have to live him;
  • They are afraid to lose what they have taken so many years to build;
  • They think they can’t do it alone;
  • They feel responsibles to «break» the family;
  • They don’t know the laws that is suppose to protect them of believe the laws can do nothing to protect them;
  • They love their partners, but doesn’t like their violent behaviors;
Jealousy is a proof of love.

False. Feeling that your partner is jealous or annoyed because someone else is paying attention to you, it can be nice at first. It can also be a way for him to show you he cares about you. But jealous behaviors are not a proof of love. It is more a proof that your boyfriend has lacks of confidence. It can even become violence when jealousy develops into behaviors such as possessiveness, controlling the other’s activities, preventing the other from seeing her friends, etc.

Violence stops when we end the relationship.

False. After a breakup, violence can manifest itself in the form of threats or harassment and the consequences can become increasingly serious.

We are less responsibles for the acts of violence that we committed if we were under the influence of alcohol or drugs in that moment.

False. Alcohol is not the cause of violence, but it can bring a person who has violent behaviors to express more quickly or more intensely. It is important not to associate violence with the alcohol or drug consumption. The violent person can also use the argument of his consumption to minimize his actions. The violent person is the only responsible of his actions and nothing, like alcohol or drugs can excuse him.

Violence won't stop when young people move in together.

True. On the contrary, it may increase. The violent person will have more opportunities to control the other since they will be together more.

Violence is losing control.

False. Violence in relationships is  rather a way of gaining control over the other, and not a loss of control.

If I truly love my boyfriend, I'm supposed to agree to have sex with him.

False. We don’t make love just to please the other. Both of you have to be ready and want it. If we refuse, that doesn’t mean we don’t love the other.

Girls who continue to date their violent boyfriends because, after all, they love the situation they are in.

False. Different reasons can explain why a girl stays in a relationship despite the violence : fear, lack of self-confidence, lack of resources. She may also continue to love the kind and funny part of her lover. And that she thinks she will be able to change him.

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