Myths About Controlling Behaviour
Myth 1 ‘The abuser is out of control’ – if they can control themselves in some parts of their life or work, then they are able to control themselves and not abuse.
Myth 2 ‘It’s because of drink/drug use’ – if someone is abusive while sober then drink or drugs are not the cause. These can be used as an excuse to behave badly and not take responsibility for their actions.
Myth 3 ‘Abusers are mentally ill’ – research suggests that abusers do not have higher levels of mental illness than the general population.
Myth 4 ‘The abuser has anger issues’ – it is not about anger, but the belief that abusing someone is justifiable. Abusers are angry because the person they’re abusing isn’t meeting their needs 100% of the time. Entitlement, not anger, is the main issue.
Myth 5 ‘Leaving ends the abuse’ – many abusers continue their abuse for years after separating, particularly through child contact. About 75% of domestic abuse related murders happen within a year of the victim/survivor leaving.
Myth 6 ‘Abusers can be reformed by a loving partner’ – what perpetrators need is to be held accountable for their actions by people in their lives and by social institutions and to be robustly challenged and supported to change their views about abuse and stop abusing.