Myth: Men are abused as much as women.

Reality: Some women are abusers but approximately 70% of victims are women.

Myth: Domestic abuse only happens in working class families.

Reality: Abuse happens in all walks of life. Abusers are just as likely to be lawyers or accountants as they are cleaners or unemployed.

Myth: ‘She must provoke it/ deserve it/ enjoy the attention’

Reality: No one deserves to be beaten or abused. Victims often blame themselves because their abuser has constantly blamed them for provoking the abuse. There is no justification for violence or abuse.

Myth: ‘It’s the alcohol/drugs’ or ‘mental illness’, it’s a loss of control.

Reality: Choosing to abuse someone is not a mental illness – why doesn’t the person also abuse their colleagues and friends? Violent behaviour is a choice used to control their victims not a loss of control. Similarly, abusers who blame drink or drugs are using them as a way to deny responsibility. Both may be a trigger for an attack, but they are not a cause.

Myth: ‘My kids don’t know about it’ or ‘If I tell someone the kids will be taken’

Reality: Domestic abuse has a huge impact on children and young people. 90% of domestic abuse cases involve a child in some way.

Myth: ‘it can’t be that bad or she’d leave’

Reality: People stay in violent relationships out of fear or love. Some think that they couldn’t cope without the abusive partner, that the kids will be taken away, or it would lead to more violence. Most do eventually leave.