Breaking the Silence: Addressing Domestic Abuse in Upscale Marriages
In certain cultures in Peru, when a woman is being abused by her husband, the other women in the village gather around her hut and bang pots and pans. This showing of solidarity is designed to tell these women that they are not alone.
Isolation is a formidable tool for the abuser, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in upscale households where money is no object when it comes to wielding power and control.
At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, hidden abuse in upscale marriages will be the subject of a panel discussion and dialogue with the audience held at St. Margaret Mary Church, 1450 Green Trails Drive, Naperville.
Panelists will include DuPage County Judge Beth Sexton, Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom and Family Shelter Service Director of Court Advocacy Amy Milligan, together with domestic violence survivors. Maureen Sullivan Taylor, a legal advocate and lawyer, will moderate the discussion.
The issue of domestic violence in upscale marriages first drew national attention with the publication of Susan Weitzman's book, "Not to People Like Us," published in 2001.
According to Weitzman, many individuals trapped in these situations are shamed into keeping the abuse a secret; and when seeking help, they may encounter a biased community that believes that their wealth should enable them to help themselves.
These women are made even more powerless by the economic means of their abuser who has the financial resources, leverage and power to carry out any and all threats — including the legal ammunition necessary to obtain custody of the children and continue the abuse with them.
Panel attendees also will be able to view Family Shelter Service's “Behind Closed Doors” traveling art exhibit at St. Margaret Mary. This exhibit, which is made up of original artworks recognizing the struggle and celebrating the resilience of survivors of domestic violence, was created to commemorate Family Shelter's 35th anniversary.
Both the exhibit and the panel discussion will be in located in the parish Upper Room, which can be accessed from the main entrance.
Reservations are not required to attend this event. For more information, please contact Tom Cordaro at 630-369-0777.