Center for Hope & Safety


24-hour hotline


Clackamas Women’s Services


​​24-hour Crisis Line:


Henderson House



Sable House


24/7 Crisis Hotline

Myths & Facts about Domestic Violence

MYTH: Domestic violence happens only in low-income families.

FACT: Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families, rich and poor, urban, suburban and rural, in every part of the country, in every racial, religious and age group.

MYTH: Alcohol and drugs cause domestic violence.

FACT: Alcohol and drugs do not cause domestic violence. Domestic violence is a choice. Many abusers will make sure they have alcohol or drugs on hand, in order to use them as an excuse for their actions. Abusers will also claim their actions resulted because they could not have the alcohol or drugs.

MYTH: Domestic violence is an anger control issue.

FACT: Domestic violence has nothing to do with anger. Anger is a tool abusers use to get what they want. We know abusers are actually very much in control because they can stop when someone knocks on the door or the phone rings; they often direct punches and kicks to parts of the body where the bruises are less likely to show; and they are not abusing everyone who makes them “angry”, but waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the one he says he loves.

MYTH: Abusers and/or victims have low self-esteem.

FACT: Abusers do not have low self-esteem. They believe they are entitled to have power and control over their partner. Abusers will pretend to have low-self esteem, if it will make others believe the violence is not their fault. (see In the Mind of the Abuser for more information on this subject).

MYTH: Children aren’t aware of the violence in their home.

FACT: Studies show that most children are aware of the violence directed at their mother.

MYTH: Children are not at risk for being hurt or injured.

FACT: Men who abuse their partners are more likely to abuse the children in the home. Domestic violence is the number one predictor for child abuse. Subjecting children to an environment full of violent actions and hateful words is not being a “good dad.”