VicHealth chief Rob Moodie said although attitudes had improved in the past decade, and almost all surveyed viewed domestic violence and forced sex as a crime, damaging opinions remained.
"The vast majority don't condone violence against women but there is still a distressingly high number who excuse it and believe some of the myths around it," Dr Moodie said.
Men and those born overseas were more likely to blame victims and trivialise, deny or justify violence, he said, but culture could not be used to excuse such behaviour.
The Two steps forward, one step back report, to be released today, found:
ALMOST half thought women made up violence claims to gain an upper hand in custody disputes.
ALMOST one in four felt that women falsified rape claims.
ALMOST one in six believed women often say no to sex when they mean yes.
ONE in five thought men and women were equally guilty of domestic violence, despite the overwhelming number of victims being women.
ALMOST one in three dismissed denying a partner money as a form of abuse.
ALMOST one in four did not believe yelling abuse at a partner was serious.
So here we have six supposed "myths" about domestic violence, which Rob Moodie believes constitute "damaging opinions".
Personally, I think most of the so-called myths are at least arguably true. Some of them are obviously true.
I'm astonished, for instance, that only 25% of people think that women might make up false rape claims. Do 75% of people really think that women are incapable of deceit? That's an absurd reading of human nature. As it is the mainstream media periodically carries stories about women who have confessed to making up false rape claims. Why would an intelligent, well-educated person doubt that false rape claims exist?
There have even been false rape claims caught on video. If you click on this link to a You Tube video, you'll find an American news report about two separate incidents in which police officers were accused of sexually assaulting women. In both cases the officers were cleared after video showed that the claims were fabricated.
In the first incident, a woman was pulled over and issued with a ticket. She never got out of the car before driving off. Later, she is shown solemnly swearing to tell the truth before accusing the officer of a serious sexual assault.
When told that the entire incident had been filmed she sticks to her story at first before confessing that she had lied. When asked, "Why would you do something like this to somebody who didn't do anything to you except write you a ticket?" she answers, "I'll explain why. If I would have been driving a Jaguar, if I had been driving a Mercedes, or anything along those lines, I would have never been stopped. And I personally think he had a personal attack on me because of my character."
Such is the reality of human nature. Yet Rob Moodie wants us to believe that reality is a myth and that the hardy 25% sticking with reality are holding dangerous views.