In immediate danger call the police on 999.
Otherwise, to access specialist domestic abuse support call Victim Support on 0808 168-9111 or talk via Live Chat.

Domestic abuse myths

There are many myths about domestic abuse that can help perpetuate misconceptions about who, when, why and how abuse happens. It’s important to dispel these myths, to ensure that every victim can get access to support quickly, easily and safely. We’ve listed some of these myths, to help you to Know, See and Speak Out about domestic abuse in your area.

Domestic abuse myths and facts

  • Myth: Domestic Abuse only effects young couples
    Fact: Domestic abuse can affect anyone and can also happen between family members.


  • Myth: Domestic Abuse is all about romantic relationships
    Fact: Domestic abuse happens in relationships where two people are ‘personally connected’. This means people who are or have been in a romantic relationship, people who have acted in a parental role towards the same child or who have a family relationship to each other.


  • Myth: It’s easy to leave an abusive relationship
    Fact: It is really hard to leave an abusive relationship. Abuse is likely to get worse at the point of leaving/when the relationship ends, which makes ending a relationship dangerous. If you are thinking of ending a relationship or contact with someone who is abusive, you can talk to an expert about how to stay safe. There are also lots of practical things to consider – like finances, housing, co-parenting… and a professional an help advise you about how to end a relationship as safely as possible, and work with you to create a safety plan. It may take time to plan to leave, but the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuses services are here to help you.


  • Myth: It’s easy to identify someone who is abusive
    Fact: People who are abusive can be very good at hiding it, and many people close to the people experiencing abuse may not realise it’s happening. It can be tricky to spot as abuse can often start with small actions, and at first, things can seem wonderful.Love-bombing can be used at the start of a relationship or as part of a honeymoon cycle – this is heightened, extreme affection, attention, flattery, gifts, and praise that increase intimacy quickly. These are then taken away while tension starts to build, leading to an explosion, then returning to love-bombing. It can be confusing for victims, and is a tactic of coercion by the perpetrator.


  • Myth: Abusive relationships are bad all of the time
    Fact: Abuse can often happen in cycles – a honeymoon period, giving way to tension and then an explosion – the point where the abuse is at its worst. An abusive situation often starts with a honeymoon, but this phase also happens after the explosion. It’s a way of the abusive person keeping control, minimising the things they have done and making it harder for the person experiencing the abuse to make decisions about what to do next.


  • Myth: People who are being abusive have ‘lost control’
    Fact: Abuse is all about control – using social or physical power to gain and maintain control of another person. A series of tactics are used deliberately as a pattern of abuse, to create fear, to isolate, humiliate and degrade. They are used in private, or covertly in public. Deliberate patterns of abuse can’t be excused as a lack of control.


  • Myth: There is no support for men experiencing abuse
    Fact: Men also experience abuse – in romantic relationships with men and women, as well as in family relationships. Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Services can be accessed by anyone for confidential expert advice.


  • Myth: Abuse only happens for cisgender people in straight relationships
    Fact: Abuse can happen to anyone, in any romantic or family relationship. Stonewall figures show rates of domestic abuse in LGBTQA+ relationships is equal to, or in some cases may be higher, than in heterosexual relationships. Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Services can be accessed by anyone for confidential expert advice.


  • Myth: Domestic abuse is private – I shouldn’t ask my friends and family about their relationships
    Fact: Reaching out is important, so that you or someone you know can get support. Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Services are available to help. You/they will be supported to make the right choice for you/them. We will work together to find ways to make you/them safer, including safety planning, refuge and court support.



Domestic Abuse myths

Get Help Now

In an emergency always call 999

For non-emergency support, call our helplines:

  • Kent 0808 16 89 111
  • Medway 0800 917 9948

Or use this website to find your local support service.