Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence Myths

A. Only cisgender, heterosexual couples experience intimate partner violence.
Intimate partner violence is experienced by people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. In fact, those in the LGBTQIA+ community experience higher rates of domestic violence.

B. People who abuse just have an extreme anger problem.
People who abuse have a problem believing they have the right to control their intimate partner. The anger is used to intimidate, threaten, and manipulate their victims.

C. People who abuse are bipolar.
It is possible for people who abuse to have bipolar disorder which is a diagnosable mental health issue characterized by episodes of depression and mania; however, the frequent “mood swings” often associated with intimate partner violence are used to keep their victim constantly guessing their next move.

D. Its only intimate partner violence if they hit you.
Intimate partner violence includes harassment, stalking, and emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse. It is used to frighten, humiliate, manipulate, blame, or harm their intimate partner.

E. You can tell who the abuser is in the relationship by their gender identity or size.
People who abuse cannot be identified by the expression of any masculine or feminine traits or dress. There are many forms of gender identity and expression and all forms can be seen in people who abuse as well as victims.

F. Drugs and/or alcohol cause abuse.
Although drugs and alcohol are often associate with violent behavior, they do not cause it. If this were the case, then everyone who used drugs or alcohol would become violent and controlling towards many people in their lives.


Tennessee Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-356-6767

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or Text “START” to 88788.