There are many myths surrounding domestic abuse and violence experienced by women as well as men of all ages. By believing the myths, we allow the violence to continue.
Myth 1: Parents can’t be victims of domestic abuse
Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) has become more prevalent in recent times. The number of adults reporting that their children are abusing them is rising. Such abuse can include:
- Humiliating language and threats
- Belittling a parent
- Damage to property
- Heightened sexualised behaviour
Children can display healthy levels of anger and conflict as part of growing up, which can make it difficult for parents to recognise or accept their child’s behaviour as violent or abusive. This could be a sign of abuse or violence. If you feel it is, it’s important that you seek support.
Myth 2: It is only classed as domestic abuse if the violence is physical
Not all abusive relationships involve physical violence. Emotional abuse aims to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence and can include:
- Verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, shaming, isolation, intimidation and controlling behaviour.
- Threats of physical abuse or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.
- Economic or financial abuse; controlling your finances; withholding money, credit cards and basic necessities such as food and clothes, preventing you from working or choosing your career, sabotaging your job or stealing from you.
- Coercive control is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive control can include:
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Depriving you of basic needs such as food
- Monitoring your time
- Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
- Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
- Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
- Repeatedly putting you down
- Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
- Controlling your finances
- Making threats or intimidating you
Myth 3: Men are never victims of Domestic Abuse
Every year, 1.4 million women and 700,000 men experience some form of abuse. Yet, while one in six men will experience abuse at some point in their lives, only one in 20 will ever seek help.
What help is available?
If you or someone you know needs help, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. We can help in so many ways, and if we can’t, we will be able to direct you to a service or charity that can.
- Support and house vulnerable people, and work in partnership with local authorities to do so.
- Help you or the victim leave the home if that is what is wanted.
- Provide additional security and/or repairs in the home.
- Work with other services such as mental health teams and crime stoppers to ensure you or the victim are supported throughout your case.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse or believe someone you know is, we can help. Contact 0300 123 1 567 and we will direct you to the right team. Or, visit our domestic abuse page for further information.
Alternatively, you can contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for free, confidential advice.
If you ever feel in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 999.