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Singapore Government

Myths about family violence

Myths about family violence

MYTH: Fighting is part and parcel of family life.

FACT: Differences and conflicts happen amongst family members. However, in a healthy family relationship, members compromise and seek ways to overcome their differences. Violence is not a normal part of family life.

MYTH: Family violence is a private matter between husband and wife.

FACT: Family violence affects everyone, including the children. Violence is not a normal part of a marital relationship, and is unacceptable.

MYTH: Violence will eventually stop.

FACT: Family violence is often not a one-time act. Most victims are caught in a cycle of violence. After a violent episode, the abuser may feel sorry and promise to change for the better. However after some time, the tension will build up and the abuser resorts to violence again. The abuse can get more frequent and serious – it may even claim a life.

MYTH: Alcohol or drugs are to be blamed for the violence.

FACT: Alcohol may intensify violent behaviour but it is not the cause. People may drink alcohol or take drugs but they need not become violent. Alcohol or drugs is not an excuse for abusive behaviour. 

MYTH: The victim is to be blamed for provoking violence.

FACT: Very often, the violence and anger is triggered by something which the victim has no control over. No one deserves to be abused. There are alternative ways of handling a situation without resorting to violence. 

MYTH: Family violence only occurs among the poor and uneducated.

FACT: Statistics have shown that family violence happens to people of all ages, races, religions, and occupational and educational backgrounds.

MYTH: If the situation was really that bad, the victim could just leave. 

FACT: The victim may have reasons for not leaving – love, fear, embarrassment, low self-esteem or financial restraints. Staying in a violent relationship does not mean that the victim wants to be abused. 

MYTH: Abusers are clearly violent in all their relationships.

FACT: An abuser may be extremely violent at home but is usually reasonable and respectable outside the family. Abusers do not look any different from your neighbour, colleague, friend or boss.

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