NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Domestic violence reaches all races, all incomes, and all genders. Debra Greenwood of the Center for Family Justice shares the most common myths about domestic violence.
1) Domestic Abuse Involves Beating or Battering: Sometimes, it does, but there many other elements of domestic abuse. They can include verbal and physical abuse; emotional abuse, sexual abuse and even financial abuse. Victims can be subjected to stalking, power and control, fear and intimidation without being physically beaten. Sometimes, there’s a cycle of violence. For example, verbal and emotional abuse may lead to physical abuse. Financial abuse doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it can involve relationships where one partner cuts off the other from funds and financial independence in an effort to control and dominate them.
2) Domestic Violence is a Women’s Issue. The Center for Family Justice does serve men and boys who have been victims. There is an increasing number of men in our safe house, such as Kathie’s Place. Domestic violence impacts gay and straight couples and men who’ve been physically abused by their wives. While the majority of victims they see are women, it’s not limited to one race, gender or demographic.
3) Domestic Violence is an Inner-City Problem: Domestic Violence isn’t limited to any geography. The Center for Family Justice serves some of the most economically diverse communities in Fairfield County, from $2 million dollar homes to public housing. It is equal opportunity and can and does happen to anyone.
4) You can end Domestic Violence by “just leaving.” Often you’ll hear someone ask, “Why doesn’t he–or she-just leave?” when they hear about domestic violence, but domestic violence is more complicated than that. Victims often stay in abusive relationships because of fear, economic dependence on their abuser, even love. Some stay because their abuser has threatened to harm them if they leave. It’s not simple and we can make some suggestions on how to support a friend or relative who is in an abusive relationship.
5) Domestic Violence is About Anger. Research shows that the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse are really about power and control. Anger and violence are symptoms rather than causes.
CFJ is Connecticut’s first Family Justice Center. In April 2016 they officially opened after serving the community as the former Center for Women & Families. As a Family Justice Center they seek to provide a myriad of services for victims in one safe place, under one roof. They have police, prosecutors, attorneys and other community service providers on campus in Bridgeport. They also run a 15 bed safe house, Kathie’s Place in one safe location.
If you need help, or know someone who can benefit from the Center For Family Justice, head to http://centerforfamilyjustice.org/