Challenge the myths

Photography copyright Julian Nieman for Refuge

There are lots of myths and misinformation about violence and abuse in relationships.

It is important for us all to challenge excuses for abusive behaviour whenever we hear them. It is important for us all to challenge excuses for abusive behaviour whenever we hear them. We all need to work together to bring an end to abuse.

William Gay, cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is doing just that. His mother was killed by his stepfather when he was 7 years old. Here, he chooses to speak up and tell his very personal story of domestic violence.

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William Gay, Seattle Seahawks CB

Myths about domestic violence

'It can’t be that bad otherwise she would just leave'
'He only hit her because he was drunk'
'It only happens in poor families'
'He's probably mentally ill and needs help or counselling'
'He just can't control his temper
'He saw his dad do it'
'Domestic violence is a private matter, there’s nothing I can do'

Myths about sexual violence

'Some girls are just asking for it. If you dress a certain way you’re putting yourself at risk'
'Drunk girls who carry on drinking with men back home after the pub are well up for it'
'A rapist is someone who jumps out from a dark alley'
'Girls might say no, but they really mean yes'
'Women lie about being raped all the time'
'Sometimes a guy just gets carried away and can’t stop'