Unmasking Domestic Abuse Myths
Domestic abuse is not only a public matter; it’s also a matter that affects the church. There are many ways people of faith can work to end domestic abuse, but the first way is by debunking harmful myths such as these.
MYTH: Domestic abuse is a private matter. They’ll work it out on their own.
FACT: Domestic abuse is a public matter because it’s a crime, just like assaulting a stranger is a crime. Domestic abuse is a public matter because more than 55 percent of female homicide victims were murdered by current or former male partners.
Domestic abuse is a public matter because as many as 57 percent of all homeless women report domestic violence as the immediate cause.
It’s a church matter because 90 percent of Protestant pastors report encountering sexual or domestic violence, but only 5 percent feel prepared to respond to it.
MYTH: It’s only abuse if you’re physically.
FACT: Abuse comes in many forms including harassment, intimidation, stalking, forced isolation, humiliation, invasion of privacy, restricting financial resources, or threats of harming you, your family, your pets or themselves.
MYTH: There’s nothing we can do to stop domestic abuse.
FACT: 25 years ago, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) made it possible for courts to address domestic and sexual violence and provide crucial protections for survivors. VAWA is now up for reauthorization in the Senate. Tell your senator to reauthorize VAWA.