Common Reactions and Myths & Facts
Individuals who are abused by their intimate partners may experience a variety of reactions to the abuse. Although these individuals may experience any number of reactions, the following are common to many survivors of these acts of violence:
- Attempts to minimize the abuse or denial of abuse
- Embarrassment and shame
- Mixed messages from friends/spiritual advisors
- Attempts to keep the family together at cost of abuse
- Fear of law enforcement or justice system
- Depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem and self-confidence
- Inability to function regularly in everyday life
- Feeling of helplessness
- Fear of continued abuse
- Feab of abuse or death if she or he attempts to leaves
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Myths & Facts:
Myth: Women in violent relationships could easily leave if they wanted to.
Fact: There are many factors that influence why leaving an abusive relationship is extremely difficult. These can include fear of further abuse, isolation or death. An individual might not have the financial resources or support system needed in order to leave succesfully, and the protection of and provision for children is often a concern.
Myth: Women go from one abusive relationship to another and just bring the abuse upon themselves.
Fact: Certain characteristics can result from experiencing an abusive relationship, such as low self-esteem, depression, low self-confidence and anxiety. Abusers tend to seek out a person they can gain power and control over, so this could apply to women who have been previously abused. However, no one asks or deserves to abused, and abusive relationships are not always easy to leave.
Myth: Women are abused because they provoke their partners.
Fact: Men who abuse their partners do not need a reason to abuse. Men who abuse constantly change their demands, making it impossible for their partners to know how to comply. Even with compliance, the abuse may continue.
Myth: Abusers are usually lower class men of color.
Fact: There is no way to spot an abuser in a crowd. It is not a question of gender, class, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
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