Mental Health Awareness: Domestic Abuse / Intimate Partner Violence Myths vs. Facts

Michelle MachenOur Stories

When it comes to domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, it can be difficult to separate fact from myth. Whether you are the victim or whether you know someone who is being abused, it is important to be able to distinguish myth from fact to make important decisions about personal safety.

    Myth #1: Abuse Happens Only to Certain People

    Fact: Intimate partner violence knows no racial, sexual, financial, or class boundaries. An abuser can be a lawyer, doctor, or factory worker. Though not occurring with the same frequency, female spouses or partners can abuse men as well. According to the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, 85 percent of all intimate partner violence cases named a woman as the victim, leaving the other 15 percent of victims as men.


      Myth #2: Intimate Partner Violence is Rare

      Fact: Intimate partner violence affects a staggering number of people. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

      Myth #3: Intimate Partner Violence is Caused by Substance Abuse

      Fact: Though drugs and alcohol can play a role, these substances are not the cause of abuse. Abuse has more to do with an abuser's need to have absolute control over the victim. However, drugs and alcohol may heighten the frequency or intensity of the abuse, making the perpetrator more impulsive and less inhibited. Treatment for substance abuse is not a guarantee that he or she will no longer be an abuser. Promises from an abuser to quit drinking are also no guarantee of safety.

      Myth #4: Therapy Should Be Sought in Abusive Relationships

      Fact: Marital or relationship therapy in which both parties see a therapist together can make the situation even more dangerous. Discussing problems in an open and honest dialogue in front of a third party can create a more violent situation at home for the victim. Both the victim and the abuser need therapy but should be treated separately. The victim's safety should be the priority.

      Myth #5: Personality Dictates the Victim

      Fact: It can be dangerous to assume that abuse only happens to some people. The personality of the victim does not determine whether he or she will be abused. An abuser inflicts harm to assert his or her total authority over the victim and the relationship. Anyone can become a victim at the hands of a spouse or partner. In fact, abusers are very often charming and charismatic at the beginning of a relationship.

      Myth #6: The Abuse May Not Be Repeated

      Fact: Part of the cycle of abuse includes a period in which the abuser may apologize for his or her actions and promise to change. The abuser may feel sorry about what he or she did and even cry and beg the victim not to leave after a violent act. The abuser may shower the victim with gifts and compliments. This can be confusing to the victim and may lead him or her to think the abuse will not happen again. By staying in the relationship, the victim will continue to be at risk.


      E(F)AP resources and assistance are available to U.S. and Canadian Mauser Packaging Solutions employees and members of their household through our benefit programs.*

      U.S.: THE HARTFORD: Enhanced Ability Assist® - Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

      Call toll free 1-800-96-HELPS (1-800-964-3577) or visit

      View EAP Flyer (English)
      View EAP Flyer (Spanish)

      Canada: Manulife – Homewood Health/Santé: Resilience® Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

      Call toll free 1-866-644-0326 or visit

      View EFAP Flyer (English)
      View EFAP Flyer (French)

      *Resources and assistance available regardless of enrollment in healthcare benefits.

      Note: Similar programs may be offered in other countries through Company provided offerings or government healthcare systems. Check with your local Human Resources representative for available resources.

      If you are a victim of abuse or know a family member or friend who is being abused, your employee-assistance program (EAP) can help with more information about what to do. You also can call the National (U.S.) Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or the TTY number at (800) 787-3224. In the event of an emergency, calling the police, 911 or your local emergency number are the best options.

      Additional hotline resources are also available for international locations. Click here for a full listing.