Domestic abuse myths
There are many common myths related to domestic violence and abuse that may be a barrier to people realising that they are being abused or acknowledge that someone else is experiencing abuse particularly in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community.
If you are experiencing abuse or are worried that you are being abuse and want a confidential chat, please call us on our multi-lingual freephone number 0800 055 6519.
Abuse can take place in families between parents and children.
Parents may control their children as they say they are older and know what is best for them. This includes making decisions for children without their consent for example where marriage is concerned. Young girls are forced into marrying someone they do not wish to because their parents have bequeathed them to another family.
Parents may also control who their children meet, the clothes they wear, where they study (if at all) and generally not allow them to do things that other children do.
Parents can also be abused where some children may force parents to transfer property and money often against their will. Children may also verbally abuse their parents and in some cases this abuse can turn physical.
Class and caste systems are still present in the UK BME community. A perception that one person has more power than someone else due to being in a ‘higher’ caste and degrading them can play a part in domestic abuse.
It is a common myth that only women suffer domestic violence and abuse. This is not the case and men can suffer from domestic violence and abuse at the hands of their partner or family members. Men find it very hard to talk about the abuse that they are suffering and are often suffering in silence. They must know that it is not their fault and that they are not alone andis available.
Some perpetrators use the fact that they are educated, have a good job or high income as a way of degrading their partners. As their partner may be more educated than them, victims are made to feel that they do not know what is best for them, the perpetrator must always be right and can mistreat them. Victims are told that they would be lost without the perpetrator, without their financial support and their home, they would have nowhere to go and would not be able to survive. This is not true and is a form of psychological and emotional abuse that can affect many people in within different levels of economic wealth.
In the BME community, it is traditional to view a relationship as between a male and female. The fact that someone could be gay, lesbian or bisexual is not even thought of sometimes let alone accepted. People are too afraid to tell their families about their sexuality due to the risk that they will be disowned or worse murdered. Families often make victims feel guilty about their sexuality, tell them it is not normal and that something is wrong with them, which is not true and is a form of abuse.