A FEW WORDS ABOUT VIOLENCE IN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
Both women and men can be victims of domestic abuse; the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95% of the victims are women.
In this site, for clarity purposes, we will refer to the victim as "she" however, not excluding abused men. For the same reason we will refer to the abuser as "he" regardless of gender.
It is not easy to identify domestic violence at first. While some relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time.
Physical abuse is obvious and undeniable. Emotional violence can be difficult to pinpoint. There is no physical abuse without emotional abuse.
The longer one stays in an abusive relationship, the greater the toll on one's self-esteem. Depression and anxiety may take place. The victim of domestic violence might begin to doubt her ability to take care of herself and blame herself for the abuse.
Children are directly impacted by the abuse happening in the family. Domestic violence poses a serious threat to children's emotional, psychological and physical health.
SOME SPECIFICATIONS ABOUT VIOLENCE IN AFFLUENT FAMILIES
Even though domestic violence strikes women, regardless of socioeconomic background, violence in upscale families have significant particularities in both its expression and in its recourse.
Some difficulties met by women victims of Upscale Abuse:
In general the judiciary system is lenient with prominent abusers in what looks like an attempt to protect them, their reputation and a shared socioeconomic status.
Judges, lawyers, doctors, ministers, etc. are often subjected to the cultural belief that abuse does not happen to women of their own socioeconomic class. This leads them to either question the veracity of the accusation or conclude that the perpetrator's abusive behavior must be justified.
Furthermore, without training in domestic violence, those professionals, who work with abused women, may feel hesitant or unable to provide informed help.
Corroborating this internalized myth, the abused woman hangs on to denial and silence to preserve her family's privacy, her's and her husband's reputations and stay a part of her milieu.
Abusiveness, in the disguise of an intelligent, wealthy man, is not readily interpretable without knowing about the many facets of abusive relationships. Unfortunately, we only learn about it after being exposed to it.
The Upscale Abused woman is invisible.
In upscale families, women are socially and internally pressured not to report the abuse.
Upscale abuse is not reflected in the domestic violence statistics, as it is seldom reported to the police. Research, related to domestic abuse, does not take into account educated women with a career and resources of their own.
The upscale abused woman is harshly judged by society, perceived as having enough privileges, power and financial means to be able to get out of the abuse on her own. However, the reality is that she often experiences financial abuse as a mean of control. For most, working with this group is not deemed social work.
The upscale abused woman is terribly isolated by society, by many among the helping professionals, as well as by her own beliefs regarding abuse.
There is a way out of abuse!