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Common myths

  • Only married women experience domestic abuse


Anyone can suffer from domestic abuse or abuse. The majority of domestic abuse victims are women, but men also suffer from abuse by their partners. The myth that domestic abuse is a problem only experienced by married women may make it more difficult for men to admit that they are suffering from domestic abuse. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to admit you are suffering from violence at the hands of your partner.

Equally, you do not have to be married to suffer from domestic abuse, abuse can occur in any relationship. Nor does marriage make domestic abuse or abuse acceptable, violence by one person against another constitutes a criminal act, regardless of marital status or gender.

  • Domestic abuse only occurs between a couple


Domestic abuse can occur between any family members, including mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents, in-laws and step family in any combination.

  • Domestic abuse is uncommon


Research by the British Crime Survey shows that 1 in 4 women is a victim of domestic abuse at least once in her lifetime. The police receive a call about domestic abuse every minute in the UK.

  • It was only a momentary loss of temper


Research suggests that victims of domestic abuse are victimised over and over again by the same person. Domestic abuse is an ongoing experience of abuse, and one you do not have to suffer.

  • Hitting your partner is the only form of domestic abuse


Domestic abuse encompasses physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and financial abuse.

  • Only poor and ethnic minority groups experience domestic abuse


Domestic abuse does not discriminate. People of all socio-economic classes, genders, races, ethnicity's, sexual orientations and religions can experience domestic abuse.

  • Leaving an abusive relationship is easy


It can be very difficult to leave an abusive relationship for many reasons, but help is available to you.

Many victims of domestic abuse are at their most vulnerable immediately after they leave an abusive relationship, help and support are available to victims of domestic abuse to help make the process of leaving a violent or abusive relationship less difficult. Don't feel guilty about leaving an abusive relationship, you are not 'giving up' on someone, you have the right to a life free of violence or abuse.

  • Women always stay in violent relationships


Many women and men who leave violent or abusive relationships go on to build a life free of violence and abuse. Almost all victims of domestic abuse will leave at least once.

Remember that you have a right to a life free from fear, violence and abuse, help and support is available to you.

  • People don't get seriously hurt by domestic abuse


Statistics show that the leading cause of injury for women aged 15 to 44 is domestic abuse. Almost half of all murders committed in the UK are domestic linked, with one woman murdered by a partner or ex-partner every three days.

Figures don't reflect the amount of mental and emotional trauma experienced by victims of domestic abuse, including children who witness domestic abuse or abuse in the home.

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