What We Do

Common Misconceptions

Domestic violence is caused by alcohol and drugs.

This is a common misconception.  There are many people who drink and use drugs without ever abusing their partners. While batterers may have been drinking or using drugs during episodes of domestic violence, forms of abuse are still happening with or without it.  Sometimes, the use of alcohol and/or drugs can escalate the violence – but it does not cause it.  There are many people who abuse others without drinking or using drugs.

Domestic violence happens when someone loses control.

Domestic violence is not about anger management or high levels of stress.  It’s actually quite the opposite of losing control – it’s all about being in control.  The abuser uses different forms of abuse to maintain power and control over another person.  They can maintain their composure around many people such as coworkers, neighbors, law enforcement, and many others – which shows they are in control of their behaviors and actions.  The abuser chooses to inflict violence and abuse on those they are hurting.

Domestic violence is always physical.

When we hear domestic violence, many of us think physical. Often, that’s what we read or see in the media.  But there are so many other ways abusers attempt to maintain power and control over another person. There’s emotional abuse, which is considered to be just as bad or sometimes worse than physical abuse. There’s also sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, isolation, threats, property destruction, coercion (use of force, intimidation, threats to get someone to do something), and harming pets. Sometimes it’s hard for people to know they’re in an abusive relationship because it’s not physical.

Children aren’t affected by domestic violence.

Children don’t have to witness domestic violence to be impacted.  Even if they don’t witness any incidents or if they’re sleeping when the violence occurs - they are still impacted.  They might hear the violence, feel the tension, and they’re likely to notice any aftermath to the violence.  It can impact their physical health, behavior, mental and emotional health, relationships with peers and parents, and learning.

If it were so bad, victims would just leave.

This is an incredibly harmful myth.  It minimizes the abuse and implies the victim must be fine with it.  This is far from the truth.  There are many barriers to a person leaving their abuser (trust us, we would know).  The first thing to understand is that leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim. The abuser feels the control slipping away and can lash out in extremely dangerous ways.  Many people leave and return to their abuser an average of 7 times before leaving for good — or being killed.  Some other reasons include fear of their abuser, lack of financial resources, lack of transportation, no support system, love, and more.