Volume 2023, Issue 1
  • EISSN: 2309-3927


Myths and misconceptions about the causes of domestic violence against women constitute major obstacles to combating it. Understanding what causes a social problem is the first step toward introducing policy measures and developing a prevention and response mechanism to address and mitigate its occurrence and impact. This article is based on a study conducted by the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) on “Domestic Violence against Women in Qatar”, which adopted the methodology of an analytical desk review of secondary sources on domestic violence in Qatar, from 2020 to 2021. The article investigates the causes of “domestic violence”, as explained by the current theories that constitute the knowledge base for this subject. Due to the importance of this matter for policy-making, the main objective of such exploration has been to uncover myths and refute the common misconceptions and information that tried to explain the root causes of domestic violence. The study showed that all of these theories are tainted by defects and flaws; to address their shortcomings, the “Power and Control Wheel Theory” was presented, which clarified that the act of violence and harm is an “intended act”. Within this context, this article argues that root causes of violence are not attributed to mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or poverty; neither are they ascribed to "loss of control" or “anger management” issues. Violence is seen as an integral part of a systematic pattern of deliberate behavior aimed at initiating and maintaining “power and control” over the victim. Further to that, the article shows how myths and misconceptions impact policy-making, suggesting that prevention and intervention efforts on this subject should be guided by notions that emphasize the “intentionality” of domestic violence in order to increase women’s safety and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.


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