False Battering is rare. Only some people experience
True Many battered women are afraid to tell anyone
about the battering. Even fewer are reports of violence
from men who batter. The 1998 Violence Against Women Survey
found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men had experience rape
and/or physical assault by a current or former spouse, cohabiting
partner, or date at some point in her/his lifetime. The
1998 Commonwealth Fund Survey of Women’s Health found
that less than half of women who had experienced physical
abuse by a domestic partner told anyone at all.
False Religious beliefs or practices will prevent
battering. Battering does not occur within certain faiths.
True Individuals of all faiths and creeds can be
batterers or victims of violence. Unfortunately, many religious
communities are reluctant to admit that violence occurs within
their congregations. This veil of secrecy and shame can prevent
victims from coming forward and getting the support they deserve.
It can also create a shield behind which the batterer can hide
his abusive behavior.
False Battering will stop by itself over some period
True Without intervention, battering will probably
continue and become more severe over time. Many men who batter
try to stop on their own but do not succeed. With the help
of a comprehensive Batterer Intervention Program, batterers
may be able to take responsibility for their abuse, learn how
to resolve conflicts non-violently, and stop trying to control
others. For more information about Batterer Intervention Programs
in Virginia, call 1.800.838.8238 (v/tty).
False Battering is not dangerous or serious. It
is no big deal.
True Battering is dangerous and serious. It is
the most common way that women are murdered by men. It hurts
women, the children, relationships, and the men who batter.
It is a big problem which needs to end.
False Battering is the result of instinct. Men are
aggressive from birth. They have a drive toward violent behavior.
True Abusive behavior is learned. There
is much evidence that aggression is learned from role models.
Experiencing or witnessing violence as a child is the most
significant predictor of adult violence. There is little
proof that people have an “instinct” for violence;
however, boys are often trained to be rough and controlling.
who batter are very mean, scuzzy, and ugly “skid row” types.
They hate everybody.
True All types of men can batter. Men who batter
are often gentle, loving, neat, clean, and successful in many
areas of their lives.
False Men who batter are violent in all of their
True Most men who batter are violent only at home.
They are friendly and polite in public. At home, they fear
fewer consequences and “dump” their anger into
False Men who batter are always uneducated, “lower
class” or working class, or poor. Men who batter
are from minority groups, who do not know any better.
True Men who batter are from all groups
in our country. Race, lack of education or wealth, and/or social
background do not make men abusive.
False Only alcoholics and drug abusers are violent
to women. Alcohol or drugs caused the violent behavior.
True Some men who batter also have problems with
alcohol and drugs. They can quit using chemicals and still
act abusively toward women. Alcohol and drug use is often an
excuse for violent behavior. Some men who batter do not use
any chemicals. Others are social users.
False Men who batter have no control over their
violent behavior. They are brutal, evil psychopaths who lack
morals. Men who batter cannot change.
True Men who batter may feel like they
have no control over their behavior. However, they have
total control over their violence. The “where, when, how, and
why” of violent behavior involves choice. Most
men who batter do not enjoy acting abusively. They do not lack
morals or values. They are not evil or psychopathic.
They have learned to make very poor choices that involve violent,
abusive behavior. Men who batter can learn to make better choices.
They can learn new skills to use instead of violence.
False Men who batter are physically brutal every
day. Men who strike “only” once in a while, or “just” slap
are not men who batter.
True Most men who batter do not beat up their
partners every day. Physical attacks may be more or less
frequent and dangerous, but abuse is abuse. Men who batter
usually act in other controlling and intimidating ways (psychological
abuse) often. Dominating and intimidating behavior is probably
of choice” for most men who batter.
False Battering is caused by bad relationships.
Women would not get beaten if they did not nag. Men are forced
to be violent because women do not behave properly.
True Battering is an individual issue. Many men
who batter have acted that way with several partners. Men in
poor relationships have a choice not to batter. Battering wrecks
relationships. Battering is not about how women do or do not
behave. It is about poor choices involving power and control.
False Women are just as violent and abusive as
True Research consistently shows that men are much
more likely to be violent towards their intimate partners than
women. Many studies of women perpetrating violence against
men do not control for the fact that women use self-defense
against men who batter.
False Battered women enjoy being abused. They are
masochistic. They ask for it. They come from violent families
and seek out violent relationships. They would leave the relationship
if they did not like or deserve violence.
True Women do not enjoy or deserve to be abused.
If a woman says: “Go ahead and hit me,” it
is probably because she knows it is coming one way or another.
Some women are from abusive families and others are not.
Women do not seek out abusive relationships. Some battered
women have been in several violent relationships, probably
because so many men batter. Battered women stay in relationships
because of many reasons. They have few choices or options.
They do not have money or job skills. The man has convinced
her that it was her fault, she will never find anyone better,
or that she deserved it. Family and religious pressure
may prevent her from leaving.
False Battered women are always uneducated, “lower
class” or working class, or poor. Battered women
are from minority groups, who do not know any better.
True Battered women are from all groups in our country.
Race, lack of education or wealth, and social background do
not make battered women. Many rich, educated, and well-to-do
women are battered.
False Battered women are always beat up. They look
abused and assaulted. You can always tell who they are.
True Most battered women are not beat up every day.
They often go out of their way to hide their injuries and scars.
Many women who look normal are battered. And not all abuse
False Battered women are mentally ill or crazy.
They are defective and inferior.
True Victims of abuse and battering are often confused
and overwhelmed. It is hard for them to believe that they are
being treated that way. Their self-esteem and sense of personal
safety is lowered from abuse. They tend to blame themselves
because many others blame them.
False Battered women cannot recover. They will always
be battered and damaged.
True Battered women can heal and recover from abuse.
Battered women are not defective. They can learn to protect
themselves from more violence. However, damage caused to relationships
from battering is hard to repair. Most men who seek help for
battering have already ruined their relationships beyond the
point of no return.