Myths and reality about domestic violence against women

There are many common held beliefs, misconceptions and misinformation about domestic violence against women. These myths deeply influence how victims-survivors are perceived by society, peoples' reaction to instances of domestic violence and victims-survivors encounters with the general public. If we do not understand the reality of domestic violence, we will never be able to promote a zero-tolerance culture against domestic violence. Some of the common myths are:

Only a small number of women are domestically abused
Violence against women in the home is widespread
It's just an occasional dispute
Domestic violence is a recurrent problem victims-survivors have often been severely abused on many occasions
She must ask for it or deserves it
No one "deserves" this sort of treatment. These so-called "provocations" do not justify being abused. Often they are abused for ridiculous reasons; there are no reasons to express anger through violence
She must enjoy it or she would leave
Women stay with their violent partner because they find it extremely difficult to leave. A Battering is not an enjoyable experience
Leaving the home is bad for the children
Children are more traumatised when remaining in a violent home
All men who are violent to women come from an abusive family background
Whilst it is true for some men, many men who abuse women do not come from violent backgrounds and other men who do come from an abusive background do not abuse women.
Battering only occurs in working class families
Men from all social backgrounds abuse their partners. Domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic levels
If a woman does not have bruises she has not been abused and she is lying
Domestic violence does not refer solely to physical abuse. There are a number of techniques used to abuse which do not leave physical marks