Psychologist India / Mental Health / Myths About Abuse

Common Myths About Abuse: Misconceptions About Abuse

There are still many misconceptions about abuse that forbid people to know more about it. So, here are some misconceptions or myths about abuse.
Common Myths About Abuse: Misconceptions About abuse

Table of Contents

Introduction

Are you aware about what abuse actually is ? If not, then let me tell you about this. Abuse generally is mentally, physically, or sexually injuring or harming a person intentionally. Abuse is a very very dangerous action done by someone to another especially to a child or young person. As it triggers the next person very badly. Let us now know more in detail about what is Abuse ?

What is Abuse?

It is a form of action that is done intentionally to harm or injure the next person. In short, abuse is done when someone, who purposefully harms another person in any way. There are many kinds of abuse encountered by adults, like physical abuse, psychological abuse, rape, sexual assault, verbal abuse, elder abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, emotional abuse. All forms of abuses are illegal as it can harm someone physically or mentally. And the person found abusing can be met with criminal penalties as it is a criminal offense.

Misconceptions or Myths About Abuse

Abuse, though it is of any type emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, or any other should never be ignored. Adhering to abuse and living with it will only make the abusers more strong and give them the courage to abuse more. But there are still many misconceptions about abuse that forbid people from seeing abuse and taking any steps against it. So, here are some misconceptions or myths about abuse.

Myths About Abuse

1. Abuse Can Only be of Violence

Many people think that abuse is only violence. If the scar and wounds are visible then the person has been abused. If there are wounds and patches on the body of a woman then only she has been abused, otherwise, she is giving false statements. This is completely wrong and one of the most common myths of abuse. Abuse is not only physical, it can be emotional, sexual, verbal as well. One never knows what happens behind the doors of a house, so it cannot be predicted if no scar abuse hasn’t taken place. You just need to recognize it.

2. Only Bad People Will Abuse Others

Another misconception about abuse is that people who are bad abuse others. People who grew up in a surrounding where they saw abuse can also abuse others. Whereas people who would have never seen abuse may also abuse others in one or the other way. As said, one never knows what happens behind the doors. You cannot predict that the bad one is the one who abuses and the one who seems well-behaved cannot abuse. Even people who seem very nice abuse others emotionally, verbally, sexually, or physically. So, these myths should be avoided.

3. Someone Who is of Low Background Can Only Abuse

Low level, poor people are the ones who abuse others. People of well-known families and those who are rich don’t do so! This is another misconception about abuse. It is not necessary that rich people cannot abuse or poor people will only abuse. At times rich people, who want to impose their power, also abuse it to show their power and keep others in control. This is very common for people who have some power, to keep it and maintain their stand, they abuse others and their family members. Therefore, you cannot judge anyone by their background.

4. Abuse is Done by Those Who Are Strangers

Ever heard people saying don’t send your daughter, or wife to an unknown place or alone with strangers? This is the thought that leads to another myth that abuse can only be done by those who are strangers. Nowadays, victims are abused mostly by people they know rather than strangers. Ever wondered how a daughter can be abused by her father or brother and a wife by her husband or in-laws. It is not strange to say that even family members to keep their control use abuse as a tool. Therefore, it is not only strangers but also family members whom you should be aware of.

Abuse is Done by Those Who Are Strangers

5. One Who Experiences Abuse is The One Who Abuses Others

Some people think the one who has already been the victim of abuse are the ones who lead the abuse of others. This is another common misconception about abuse. They think since the victim has suffered, he or she wants others to suffer as well and take revenge. But this is not the case. People can be mentally strong. Most of the victims don’t turn into abusers, there might be few, as they have already suffered the pain and will not let others experience the same rather they would want to help others.

6. People do Abuse When They Are Drunk or Take Drugs

Another myth related to abuse is that someone will abuse only after they take drugs or alcohol. It is not the case, though drugs and alcohol can cause people to lose their minds; the ones who have a habit of abusing others will abuse only and it is not necessary that they cannot abuse without alcohol or drugs. They can do it even in their full senses. The ones who don’t abuse will never abuse even if they get drunk and an abuser will abuse even if he or she doesn’t drink alcohol or take drugs. Hence, you shouldn’t believe any such myth.

7. Good People Will Never be Abused

Another very popular misconception about abuse is that for well-mannered people, good people will never be abused. This is not the case! Anyone can be abused until they speak for themselves. Even good people can become victims of abuse if they are unable to voice against it. It is not stamped on the forehead of people that they would not get abused. It is just whether they are willing to fight against it or not. If the victim can fight against it, people won’t be able to abuse them. On the other hand, if they remain submissive they can be abused.

8. Physical Abuse is a Very Extreme Form of Abuse

Another common myth fixed onto the mind of people is that physical abuse is the only extreme form of abuse. No, it is not. Abuse be it of any kind is very extreme. Be it physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional, all of their torture and give pain to the victim to the extreme. All of them mentally harass the victim and make them suffocate in their lives. Just because another abuse except for physical abuse is not visible, it does not mean that other abuses are not extreme and can be taken lightly.

Extreme Form of Abuse

9. Victims Are The Ones Who Provoke Abusers

Victims are the ones who provoke abusers and force them to do abuse. This is another common myth popular among people. But it is not the reality, victims can never be the ones who provoke abusers. It is in the hands of abusers to control their behavior. Just because dinner was not perfect and lacked some salt, the other person would start abusing saying ‘you are treated as such because you didn’t make it perfect!’ This is not right. It is in the hands of abusers to control their temper and behavior and they are the ones who are completely responsible for it.

How to Protect Yourself or Others From Abuse

1. Recognize The Abuse

To protect yourself from the abuse it is very necessary for you to understand what actual abuse is? In what way abuse is being caused ? As it is the foremost step one could opt for protecting themselves or others from the abuse.

2. Don’t Ignore if You or Others Are Abused

One should never ever ignore the abuse happening to them or any other person around them as by ignoring the abuse you are promoting more and more of abuse to take place in the coming future. One should take all the necessary actions required while any abuse is being caused to anyone.

3. Do Not Blame Yourself or Let Other Victims Take The Blame on Themselves

This is one of the major problems people in our society are facing. They always start blaming their own self or the victim for whatever abuse caused to them. By doing this they not only make the victim feel depressed but also promote such actions.

4. Leave The Person

This is the best option one could opt for to protect themselves or others from the abuse. As leaving the person is the best way to detach yourself and make yourself feel better than before.

Conclusion

People often take abuses very lightly and they even usually suggest others who are suffering through abuse to just ignore and move on but it is very important for each and every one to change our perspectives and instead we should take a stand against the abuses caused. In this article we have got to know about what actually is Abuse ? What misconceptions people hold regarding the abuse ? And how to protect yourself or others from the abuse ? And hope this information has helped you.

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Dr. Neha Mehta

Dr. Neha Mehta is an RCI registered Psychologist, certified Relationship Counselor, and a well-known Child Psychologist practicing in Haryana. Dr. Neha has 10 years of enriching experience in the field of counseling. She’s an accredited Psychologist by NIMHANS and International Affiliate with American Psychological Association.

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