Domestic Violence: Myths Busted | For free

October is known and recognized as the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to build and maintain power and control in a relationship and can be used by intimate partners, dating partners, parents, caregivers, roommates, and other family members

There are often misconceptions about domestic violence. Here are some common myths blown.

“If it’s really that bad, why should you stay?”

Some of the many reasons a survivor might stay: fear of the perpetrator (who often threatens harm if he leaves), lack of money / financial security, child safety, and threats of deportation.

Also, the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the victim decides to leave. 75 percent of women killed by their partners are murdered during or after attempting to leave the relationship.

“They didn’t hit me, so it’s not domestic violence.”

Domestic violence is not just physical. A non-exhaustive list of non-physical abuse includes: verbal, sexual, isolation, coercion, stalking, threats, intimidation, property destruction, and pet harm.

“They only did that because they were drunk or high.”

Some perpetrators use the influence as an excuse for their violent behavior. While being drunk or high can make a situation worse, it is not the cause of abuse and does not excuse the abuse.

“You only had a temporary loss of temper!”

Domestic violence is a cycle of power and control, and violence is not an accidental act. Abuse is not about coping with anger or the inability to cope with stress.

“That doesn’t happen here!”

Domestic violence occurs in every community around the world. It touches life indiscriminately, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or economic position.

And yes, that happens here. In Washburn County, Embrace provided ongoing, comprehensive counseling and advocacy services on domestic and sexual violence to 145 adults, adolescents and children in 2020.

Domestic violence claimed 94 lives in Wisconsin last year, with 20% of victims being under 18 years of age. That corresponds to one death every 3.9 days.

Would you like to get involved?

Throughout October, Embrace will work to raise awareness about ending domestic violence. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Brew love, not hate. Embrace is grateful to be partnering with North Crossing Foods, The Whistle Punk and Ed’s Pit Stop this fall to bring the “Brew Love Not Hate” awareness campaign to Washburn County. Stand up against intimate partner violence by buying a coffee and using our custom made coffee cup covers.

Purple Thursday. You can show your support for survivors by participating in Purple Thursday on October 21st. Put on some purple, snap a picture, and post your support on social media.

Purple Ribbon Ad. Check out our purple ribbon displays in Shell Lake City Park. The tapes contain information, statistics on domestic violence, and other myth breakers.

Light indicator. To commemorate domestic violence victims in 2020, Embrace will be putting 94 lights on during the month to raise awareness about domestic violence in each of our counties. You can find the Spooner light display outside of Economart.

Letters writing event. Embrace hosts its second annual letter writing event, Survived & Incarcerated in WI. At Embrace, join guest speakers Sara Krall of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and Attorney Kate Knowlton of the Knowlton Law Group in an online event focused on domestic violence self-defense.

Participants learn more about homicides in self-defense and why there is no such thing as a “perfect victim”. There will be an opportunity to write letters of support to women who are currently in prison or in jail for killing their perpetrators.

Check out our social media for highlights from community partners who support survivors throughout the month.

If you or someone you know experiences domestic violence, we believe you and you are not alone. What happened to you is not your fault. Embrace is here to help. You can contact Embrace for free, confidential support at 800.924.0556 or by SMS at 715.532.6976.

Embrace is the leading voice and broad advocacy group for domestic and sexual violence survivors in four counties in northwestern Wisconsin. At Embrace, we offer unwavering support to survivors. Through education and awareness-raising, we engage our communities and create multidisciplinary partnerships to increase security and justice and advance our mission to end gender-based violence.

We strive to bring about courageous social change that will end all forms of oppression in our communities. Everyone deserves healthy communities and the support to be successful.

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About Stephanie McGehee

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