Why would affluent women need help?

The general perception is that domestic violence doesn't happen in more affluent areas, or even if it does, then the woman should have the means to deal with it herself using her own resources.

But domestic violence knows no boundaries. It's an equal opportunity abuser, penetrating every sector of society regardless of social class, income, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or culture. In our area with its relatively affluent population, domestic violence presents its own set of challenges. Abusers in our community have the money, power, influence and technical savvy to make it very difficult for a woman to leave safely, reach a fair settlement, and maintain custody of her children.

An affluent abuser's public image is so often above reproach and completely at odds with his private behavior. How can a doctor, professor, teacher, public servant also be an abuser? It's almost inconceivable. And that's what the affluent abuser counts on. The triumph of his public image over any evidence to the contrary. How can a woman take on this kind of powerful opponent alone--especially when her abuser is often surrounded by a "dream team" of powerful allies and she is struggling with the physical, emotional and psychological effects of abuse which he will use to prove her crazy or incompetent as a parent so he can "win" custody and avoid paying child support. But if she can also build a team, a network of support, she builds new possibilities, new hope.

In terms of social change, women have come a long way. But in terms of living a life of equality and freedom from abuse, we haven't arrived yet.  We still have a long road to travel. It's the 21st century and we still haven't figured out how to keep women and children safe in their own homes, even when they are estates on multi-acre properties. That in itself can present a problem because one of the abuser's most common tactics is isolation.

Domestic violence is not just a woman's issue. it's a human rights issue: the right of every woman--and child--to be free and safe in their own home. No matter how much it costs or how many acres it's on, oppression, psychological torture, and physical abuse still cause the same amount of pain and suffering.