MYTH: Drugs and alcohol cause the violence.
FACT: Addictions are used as excuses to free the batterer from responsibility for the behavior. This theory does not explain why the batterer uses violence, why he targets a woman for abuse, nor why he batters when sober. The addictive batterer must be treated for two separate problems — his addiction and his violence. He will not necessarily stop battering if he gains control over his addiction.
MYTH: Battered women provoke the violence.
FACT: Any woman can find herself battered. The victim is not at fault but rather the batterer, the partner who has committed a crime. No one can be responsible for another person's deliberate choices and actions. Domestic violence victims, however, frequently hear comments from their abusers like, "I did it for your own good," or from outsiders, "You must have really made him mad." These statements can confuse a woman and lead her to take responsibility for the violence or blame herself. No matter what, domestic violence is not the victim's fault.
MYTH: Only women are victims of domestic violence.
FACT: Approximately 95 percent of those battered are women; however, in a small number of cases, women are the batterers and their male partners, the victims.
Support is available for you if you find yourself in a domestic violence situation. There are fifteen domestic violence programs in Kentucky. The programs began as safe shelters for victims of domestic violence, but as understanding of the complex issues facing victims of domestic violence continues to grow, domestic violence programs are increasingly committed to providing strong client support services.
In addition to providing a safe, secure environment for victims/survivors and their children, programs now also offer a variety of support services to residents and non-residents, including legal/court advocacy, case management, safety planning, support groups, individual counseling, housing assistance, job search and children's groups. Programs are also working with clients on resume writing, improving basic job skills, parenting, budgeting, and drug and alcohol issues
For more information or help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD) or you can call the local phone for the Bluegrass area at (800) 544-2022. You may also visit the Web site: www.beyondtheviolence.org for more information. Also, you may call Clark County Health Department at 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org.