FICTION FACT POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 103 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: FACT AND FICTION continued... Domestic violence is a private problem, and no one should intrude in family matters. Some acts of violence are criminal, whether they occur within a relationship or not. The belief that domestic violence is a private affair condemns victims to remain under their aggressors’ control and makes it more difficult for others to intervene, which perpetuates the violence. Domestic violence is a serious problem in our society. Domestic crimes are rare—otherwise we would hear more about them. In 2008 police in Quebec registered 17,321 cases of domestic violence. The majority of the victims were women. Women bring it upon themselves, driving their partners to violence. No one goes looking for violence or tries to provoke others. We alone are responsible for our behavior. No one deserves to be treated violently. Women who are victims of violence like it, or else they wouldn’t stay. Women stay with their partners for a variety of complex reasons. They may think they can change the men they love and believe their promises. Some women feel guilty about breaking up the family or are afraid of threats. Others are lacking the social or economic resources to make it on their own. There’s no point helping abused women; they’ll just go back to their partners. Women who endure an ongoing cycle of violence can often become ambivalent about their situation, unable to decide whether to stay or go. They may leave to see if they can survive on their own or return to see if things can change. This gradual process lets some victims eventually resolve their dilemma and break the cycle of violence.