Myths & Facts

Myth: Domestic violence is only physical abuse.
 Physical violence is only one aspect of domestic violence.  It also includes controlling behavior, emotional abuse, intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and control the other person.

Myth: Women commit acts of domestic violence just as often as men do.
Fact: Most acts of domestic violence (95%) are committed by men against their female partners. Studies show that the majority of women who abuse male partners have been previously abused by these male partners and are now using violence in an effort to get them to stop.

Myth: Drug and alcohol abuse causes domestic violence.
Fact: Alcohol and other drugs do not cause non-violent persons to become violent.

Myth: A woman being abused can always choose to leave the relationship.
Fact: Women who leave their abusers, and who do not have a safe, confidential place to stay are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay. 

Myth: Battering only occurs in heterosexual relationships.
Fact: The prevalence of domestic violence among gay and lesbian couples is approximately 25-33%.

Myth: Children don’t really know what’s happening when one of their parents is abusing the other.
Fact: Even young children (age 2) show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder when they live exposed to domestic violence.

Myth: The crime of domestic violence is often said to be going down, so it must not be that prevalent.
Fact: Domestic violence is one of the most chronically under-reported crimes.

Myth: Domestic violence is a private matter and does not impact the community as a whole.
Fact: The economic costs of intimate partner physical and sexual assault in Oregon are estimated at over $50 million each year, nearly $35 million of which is for direct medical and mental health services. The total annual costs also include approximately $9.3 million in lost productivity from paid work for victims and approximately $10.7 million in lifetime earnings lost for victims of intimate partner homicides.