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Lesson #2: Common Misconceptions Concerning Domestic Violence


Material for a 2-hour lesson, part of the Domestic Violence Training course, developed by the Police Development Unit of the OSCE Spillover Monitor Mission to Skopje.


The most common misconception existing about Domestic Violence, especially regarding couple violence, is that it is only a problem for the family or the couple who experiences it and nobody has the right to interfere. In fact, Domestic Violence is a social problem and, as such, an issue for the whole society. Unfortunately, traditional cultural beliefs in society affect the way in which domestic violence is handled. These beliefs may be dangerous not only because they mask the true nature of the domestic violence problem, but also because they sustain the stereotypes about gender relationships and give legitimacy to this behavior. This lesson will review the common misconceptions and resistance related to Domestic Violence.

In that manner, this lesson will serve as an important forum for the participants to explore some common misconceptions that are held by society in general and the police about domestic violence. Misconceptions about domestic violence are reinforced and perceived as ‘truth’ when they remain unchallenged by alternative information sources. In order to challenge such misconceptions, this lesson cites relevant research from the various United Nations agencies, (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF) the World Health Organization, as well as a Human Rights NGO that has actively undertaken research on the prevalence of domestic violence in Macedonia.

The final activity involving the criticism or defense of statements regarding domestic violence will facilitate the development of informed opinions relating to domestic violence issues. This will in- turn assist the participants when considering their own role as police officers in regard to this issue.

The goal of this lesson is to inform the participants about some common misconceptions about domestic violence and to cite appropriate research and evidence to the contrary. This lesson aims to generate discussion and encourage deeper analysis and consolidation of the issues covered so far in the training.

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  1. State the common misconceptions regarding domestic violence and cite relevant research which serves to discredit such misconceptions.
  2. Review and consolidate the information covered in the lesson by defending or criticizing a statement relating to the issue of domestic violence.