Myth: Marriages which are not based on love frequently result in quarrels and end with wife-beating.
Reality: A love marriage does not guarantee freedom from abuse. Wife beating occurs in love marriages as well as in arranged marriages.
Myth: Alcohol and drug use cause battering behaviour.
Reality: Being intoxicated is simply an excuse for abusive behaviour, not the cause. Many abusive relationships involve alcohol and chemical (drug) dependency issues. Battering and chemical dependency, however, are two separate issues. Research indicates that even when a batterer quits drinking or using drugs, the battering may continue. He simply finds something or someone else to blame for his behaviour.
Myth: Only poor and uneducated men abuse their wives.
Reality: Men from all kinds of social background beat and abuse their wives. Domestic violence may appear to be a problem primarily of the poor, because middle and upper class women often have the resources to hide the violence. Abused women with fewer resources are more visible since they must turn to public institutions, such as the police and hospitals, for help.
Myth: Only men who fail in other aspects of their lives beat their wives.
Reality: Men who have successful careers also beat their wives. Wives of successful men are more reluctant to expose their husbands who are high profile, as this may threaten his social standing, his business or employment, and often her only source of income.
Myth: Battered women have done something to cause the battering.
Reality: No one, including the woman, is responsible for the abusive partner’s behaviour. Though he may be unwilling to accept it, the batterer alone has that responsibility. “It’s her fault” is a statement frequently used as an excuse for the batterer’s behavior when in most cases, women try hard to please their abusive partners. The batterer chooses to abuse his partner, regardless of the woman’s behaviour.
Myth: Women can always leave.
Reality: Women often stay in destructive relationships because they are afraid or they feel guilty about leaving. Sometimes, they stay for the sake of their children or they are financially dependent on their husbands.
s actions. If the batterer admits to the inappropriateness of his actions, wants to change, and seeks counselling, then he has a chance to change. If the batterer will not accept this responsibility and refuses to change, the women’s greatest chance for living non-violently is to leave that relationship. When the woman is willing to set appropriate boundaries for herself, believes in her values and worth as a human being, and develops and utilizes the resources and support systems available to her, she will have taken a giant leap towards finding peace in her life.