There are many common misconceptions about domestic abuse and who experiences it. In our latest blog, we address some of them and explain why they are untrue.
“It doesn’t happen here…”
There is sometimes an idea that domestic abuse does not happen in certain communities or areas – particularly quieter or more affluent parts of the UK. In smaller communities, this assumption could be reached because you may not know someone that has directly experienced domestic abuse or is experiencing it.
Domestic abuse can affect someone regardless of how much their house may be worth or where they live. You could live in London, Norwich, Scarborough or New York and still experience domestic abuse.
“Celebrities don’t experience domestic abuse…”
Many people aspire to be like celebrities because they are perceived to have glamorous lifestyles, which are always perfect. The reality is that celebrities are just as likely to experience domestic abuse as anyone else. Spice Girl, Mel B, has experienced domestic abuse and is now a Patron for Women’s Aid, helping to raise awareness by sharing her experiences of coercive control.
“The perpetrator only acted in that way because…”
In society and the media, we often see attempts made to justify the actions and behaviour of a perpetrator. We have spotted some examples in tabloid newspapers over the last couple of months:
The examples offer flimsy reasons for the perpetrators’ actions, or even try to get the reader to empathise with them.
The only person to blame is the perpetrator, they have chosen to act in that manner. A homicide is not a random event and will often be the culmination of months or years of domestic abuse and coercive control.
“Why don’t they just leave…?”
Many people experiencing domestic abuse fear that they will not be believed or are heavily dependent on a perpetrator financially, limiting their ability to leave the relationship.
Perpetrators will often go to great lengths to isolate their partner, ensuring they have limited contact with family and friends. Without this support network, many people feel like they have nobody to confide in and find leaving extremely difficult. Some perpetrators will even threaten to take their own life if their partner leaves them, making many victims feel as though they are unable to leave.
It takes an average of 35 incidents before someone will come forward to access support, highlighting how difficult it is to break free from an abusive relationship.
At Leeway, we have an experienced team of trainers who deliver high quality domestic abuse awareness training to health professionals, public sector employees and businesses of any size. To find out more about the courses we offer visit the training page of our website or call 0300 561 0077.
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