Myths and realities

If I have asked for accommodation for a certain period of time and are returning with my spouse afterwards, can I continue to receive services from Maison Alice-Desmarais?

Maison Alice-Desmarais respects the rhythm of each woman. Even if a woman decides to return with her spouse, she can ask for help, either for accommodation or for any other service (external, youth …).

My spouse is abusive because he consumes alcohol or drugs.

Demonstrating violent behavior and consuming are two different issues. Alcohol may serve as a trigger or excuse for the abusive spouse; it is rather a substance that allows him to pass more easily to the act.

It is useless to help an abused woman, she will return with her spouse anyway.

Making a change in our life takes time, especially when it comes to ending a relationship. Most of the time, abused women want to end the violence, not the relationship. There are many fears and consequences for women who experience violence. The main anxieties concern the children, the reactions of the spouse and the social acquaintance, the sometimes precarious financial situation even before the separation, the fear of loneliness and rejection, etc.

For immigrant women, experiencing domestic violence is part of their culture, it’s normal.

Although there are still more tolerant cultures regarding violence against women, this in no way justifies the control or domination of these women. As such, Canada is a strong advocate in the fight against the oppression of women internationally, through its involvement in the UN, for example.

Domestic violence does not exist in older women, they are too old for it.

Although physical violence appears to diminish with age, abuses against older women are very real. Fear of retaliation may even increase given the vulnerability and isolation that some aging women experience.

It is in the nature of man to want to control and use violent means to do it.

Some men view their wife and children as their possession and believe that they owe them obedience. They will not necessarily present this attitude of domination in contact with other people. Violence is therefore a learned and used behavior as a control strategy, which is reinforced by the different socialization process in boys and girls.

Abused women have provoked their spouses in one way or another.

The violent behavior of the dominant spouse is unpredictable, and even a trivial event can trigger “crises”. Nothing can justify the use of violence, only the violent spouse remains responsible for his actions. If the relationship no longer suits him and he does not feel happy about it, he is also responsible for putting an end to it.

The violent man is sick, he is not responsible for his violence.

Violence is not a disease, but rather a behavior chosen as a means to dominate the other. Saying that violence is a sickness amounts to deny the responsibility of the abusive spouse for his actions. While it is clear that these people need help, the problem is only for the abusive spouse, and he alone can take himself in hand and make the desired changes or maintain the status quo.

Domestic violence is due to the women’s liberation movement who makes her pay better than her spouse, for example.

Domestic violence does not depend on the socio-economic conditions of women, and it crosses all layers of society. Once again, this argument can be invoked by the violent man to deny his responsibility for his behavior.

Women are as violent as men.

Women are still predominantly male victims, in a proportion higher than 80% each year. Men are said to strike first and last; the physical violence of women is often a reaction to the one they endure.

It was not violent if the girl did not fight or shout.

Being a victim of violence can cause a state of fear that paralyzes the person, preventing her from defending herself or reacting. The victim may also be concerned that the situation will escalate further if she reacts or shouts.

Jealousy is a proof of love.

Jealousy is not a proof of love in itself; the underlying message is rather that you do not trust your partner. When this feeling is expressed negatively, under the guise of violent behavior for example, it becomes a manifestation of control aimed at limiting the victim’s social contacts, managing the way she dresses, etc. One can feel a little jealousy on the occasion without coming to control all the comings and goings of the other.

Violent men have difficulty expressing their needs and emotions.

These men assert themselves very well when it comes time to control and manipulate the other, which is obviously not a positive way to do it.