As an organization founded by a woman, run by women, and dedicated to serving women, and men, who have survived domestic violence, we are excited to celebrate both International Women’s Day (Sunday, March 8) and Women’s History Month this March.
The theme of International Women’s Day this year is #EachforEqual. Each of us is invited to do our part to forge a gender equal world.
There are many ways to accomplish this goal. You can celebrate women’s achievements. You can take action for equality. And you can help raise awareness against bias. We plan to participate in all of these action items, starting with the third one.
Raising Awareness Against Bias: Common Myths About Domestic Violence
Myths and stereotypes about domestic violence prevent us from seeing the full picture, identifying the real issues, and meeting survivors where they are, instead of where we think they should be. Below we have outlined three of the most pervasive myths about domestic violence, and some of the actual facts in each scenario:
MYTH 1: Domestic violence is always physical.
FACT: 99% of domestic violence also includes some kind of financial abuse. Financial dependency is a way to control a partner or prevent them from leaving the relationship. Some examples of this include preventing a partner from attending a job or coerced debt through non-consensual credit-related transactions. The effects of financial abuse may cause the survivor to return to the abuser out of economic necessity, or struggle to find work or housing after leaving the relationship.
MYTH 2: Only women experience domestic violence.
FACT: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence (per the NCADV National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet). However, the stigma around men as domestic violence survivors can make it harder for them to come forward and seek the support they need. Statistically, women are more likely to experience abuse from a male partner.
MYTH 3: It’s the victim’s fault for not leaving the abuser.
FACT: There are many complicated reasons why a survivor of domestic violence may not leave their abuser, including the stigma and financial abuse referenced above. One of the most important factors to consider is that leaving is often the most dangerous time for a survivor. Abuse is about power and control, and when a survivor tries to leave, that power and control is threatened. An abuser may retaliate against their partner in very destructive ways. Typically a survivor leaves their abuser 5-7 times before it becomes permanent.
Want to do your part to create a gender equal world and celebrate International Women’s Day?
Follow these simple steps to get involved with our March campaign:
- Share these myths and the actual facts that contradict them on social media. Help us shatter the stereotypes about domestic violence.
- Make a donation to DASH in honor of your favorite woman – current or historical – and help us support survivors of domestic violence.
Want to do even more? Consider joining our Empowerment Circle as a monthly donor. Your monthly gift will sustain our programs year-round allowing us to meet the most pressing needs of the survivors and families we serve. Pledge your support!
#IWD2020 #WomensHistoryMonth #EndDV #DASHDC