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Myths and Facts

There are many things people believe about violence that are not true. Some of these myths try to excuse violent behaviour or stop women from getting help.

We have listed some of these myths and the true facts about them on this page.

10 myths about violence

Myth 1: Violence is a private family matter that should be kept in the home.
Fact:
Everyone has the right to be free from violence. Violence in the home is still violence. If you are experiencing any form of violence you have the right to speak up and tell others.

Photo of a woman leaning on a table with her hand up to her mouth looking worried. A man is behind her sitting on a couch with his face in his hands.

Myth 2: Domestic violence is only violence from a spouse or partner.
Fact:
Domestic violence is any violence that occurs within the family or home setting, including group homes. Many people with disability are subjected to violence from many different people. This includes carers, support people and family members.

Myth 3: Men are violent because they cannot control their anger.
Fact:
Anger does not automatically lead to violence and in no way justifies violence.

Myth 4: Men are subjected to violence just as often as women.
Fact:
Violence is most often carried out by men against women. Australian women are nearly three times more likely than men to experience violence. When men are subjected to violence it is usually by other men.

Myth 5: There is nothing wrong with a sexist joke.
Fact:
Sexist jokes promote sexisms and sexist attitudes in society, which perpetuates and encourages ongoing discrimination and unequal treatment of women and girls.

If you have experienced sexual assault, violence or abuse you can contact
1800RESPECT
for counselling, referral and support.

Call 1800 737 732 or chat to someone online (external link).

Myth 6: Having a disability is a burden. Women should be grateful if someone is in a relationship with them.
Fact:
Having a disability does not mean you have to put up with a poor quality of life. Women with disability are worthy of respectful and loving relationships.

Myth 7: Violence and abuse happen at night in dark alleys away from others.
Fact:
Many violent acts and assaults happen in the daytime. They can happen in homes, institutions and public places.

Myth 8: Saying no or saying nothing can sometimes mean ‘yes’.
Fact:
No means no. Saying nothing usually means no. It's always better to be sure, so if you are not sure you need to check in with the other person.

Tip: Learn more about Consent on our page about Sex and Consent.

Myth 9: Men should make the decisions and be in control of relationships.
Fact:
Women have the right to make decisions in all parts of their lives. This includes relationships.

Myth 10: Children who are subjected to violence usually become violent adults.
Fact:
Most children who have been abused are not violent towards others when they grow up.

Important Resources

Publications
WWDA Position Statement 1: Right to Freedom from Violence
Information from WWDA about the right to safety from all forms of violence and abuse.
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External website
1800RESPECT
A 24-hour confidential information, counselling and support service. Phone or chat online now.
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Checklist
Our Site Checklist: Are You Experiencing Violence?
Violence can be hard to recognise when you are the one experiencing it. This checklist can help you identify if you are experiencing violence.
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Guides
1800 Respect Easy English Book 1 - Learn About Violence
Easy English book about violence.
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Where to next:

External website
Our Watch: 10 common myths about violence against women
A website where you can learn more myths about violence.
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External website
UN Women: 10 Myths About Violence Against Women
A UN website where you can learn more myths about violence.
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