One of the biggest reasons that domestic violence remains an issue in Washington State is stigma: many talk about the problem in whispers, and many share information about domestic abuse that is incorrect, outdated, or just plain wrong. Today, we will look at for incorrect assumptions about domestic violence that hurt us all.

Assumption #1: If she were really being abused, she’d leave.

Why does the abuse victim put up with violence or sometimes even defend or cover up for the person who is hurting them? Unfortunately, domestic physical abuse is often accompanied by emotional abuse and psychological abuse. At the same time, many abuse victims lack the self-esteem and resources to pack up their lives and escape their unhealthy and dangerous situation.

Assumption #2: If there aren’t physical signs of abuse, there’s no abuse.

When many people think about domestic abuse, they picture a woman trying to conceal a black eye or someone with a broken arm in a sling. But the truth is that domestic abuse doesn’t often have visual red flags. Many aspects of abuse can be verbal, sexual and emotional, and some abusers are careful not to leave signs of physical damage.

Assumption #3: If one spouse is bigger and stronger, he or she can’t be the victim of abuse.

Too many people wrongfully assume that domestic violence can’t happen to the stronger partner, can’t happen to a man, or can’t happen in a same sex relationship. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Again, emotional and psychological abuse can be perpetrated by anyone, and victims who have been verbally and emotionally abuse often are not able to fight back against physical abuse – even if they are bigger and stronger.

Assumption #4: If you aren’t married, you can’t press domestic violence charges.

You don’t have to “qualify” to be a domestic violence victim by having a marriage license, having kids together, or even living under the same roof. Domestic violence is defined as violence between two people in an intimate relationship, such as those connected by marriage, family, a dating situation, or cohabitation. If a family member or someone you know intimately has abused you, it is absolutely considered domestic abuse.


Do you need assistance with a Washington State domestic violence incident or divorce? The Seattle domestic violence attorneys at the Law Office of Molly B. Kenny can help. We understand the seriousness of domestic abuse, how it can affect families, and what legal actions you can take to set things right. Call us today at 425-460-0550 to schedule a private consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington