Good morning. My name is Ruth Patrick. I’m a domestic violence consultant. Thank you for filling out that assessment. It helps to know what the general level of knoweledge about this issue it.If we have time we can look at the answers at the end or you can see me after wards and I’ll email them to you.And we’ll talk about Susan’s story in the Part two when we discuss resources.
I’m really excited to be here today. I have a lot of good information to share which I hope you will all find useful as you move forward with your practice.My program is called Women of Means Escape Network, Silicon Valley or WOMEN~SV for short. Its mission is to raise public awareness about domestic violence, especially as it affects women in communities like ours: middle to upper income neighborhoods, and to connect these women with resources than can help empower them and deal more effectively with the impact that DV has on their lives and on the lives of their children—often called “the hidden victims”.I
And WOMEN~SV is partnered with two organizations: LACF and
Next DoorAre you all familiar with Next Door?HotlineDV advocatesLega; advocatesSupport groupsSelf-sufficiency training
Here’s the agenda for what I want to cover today.Let’s do it!
1 in 4 women is a victim of severe physical violence in her lifetime (CDC)1Men can be victims of DV too—and in some ways it’s even harder for them—since it’s an attack on their very identity as a male. ButAccording to the U.S. Department of Justice, 85-95 percent of reported spousal assaults are committed by men against women“Intimate partner Violence affects the entire population, not just certain subgroups .” It cuts across all socioeconomic groups3That’s why my focus is on women—men can be victims of dv too, but the overwhelming majority are women.Let’s start with where. Where does domestic violence happen? It’s all around us. According to the District Attorney of Santa Clara County:On average, four women in the United States are murdered every day by their male partnerWomen in the U.S. are in nine times more danger in their own homes than they are in the street—safer with a stranger than in their own homeAccording to the U.S. Department of Justice, 95 percent of reported spousal assaults are committed by men against women. About 17 percent of women report experiencing domestic violence during pregnancyOutside of medical complications, homicide was a leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States between 1991 and 1999.
* Added by Rolanda Pierre Dixon—since abusers will often use the children to get at or punish or manipulate the motherDomestic violence is a serious issue, even in our affluent area. Yet even the woman suffering from it may be unclear about what it is, what it includes. What is domestic violence? It’s a PATTERN. Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in an intimate relationship controls the other through force, intimidation, or the threat of violence.IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN HITTING OR SHOVING. DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE BRUISES.
Emotional abuse…is the most harmful form of abuse. And this is because:Scars and bruises from physical abuse may heal, but the psychological damage from emotional abuse can last a lifetime.Scars and bruises heal, but the damage from emotional abuse can last a lifetime.
What happens if she stays? A pattern emerges.
And over time the circle evolves—or devolves--into a spiral a downward spiral. the periods of peace are shorter, the violence comes faster, last longer. Deterioration continues and ends in either death or complete subjugation for the abused woman.
HAND OUT What it all adds up to is: power and control in all its different forms: isolation, emotional abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, and so onHave you all seen this wheel?There’s one for many different groups—a legal wheel, a mental health, child abuse p and c
Can you give m examples of behaviors that would demonstrate these tactics? VERSUS BLAMING THE VICTIM—OFER ZURShow of Violence(slamming his fist into a wall)Intimidation (towering over her)None of this is illegalEven though the cumulative effect is so corrosive and damaging and has such widespread consequences for the woman and for her childrenBarring access to resource, huiliations: restricting her to downstairs bathroom and removing thrtoilet paper
Exhaustion: (waking her up in the middle of the night for trivial reasons) Have you come across any examples of any of these behaviors in your work?Omnipotence—listening in on phonecalls convinced his wife he could read her mind, using software to monitor her computer useTrivial demands: sending her back to a hardware store 5 times to get a particular toolMore Tactics
It’s Like Living in a War Zone… VERSUS DR. ZUR!!!!!!And the woman finds herself feeling less like a wife, a partner, a beloved companion… And more like a prisoner of war. Same tactics used: brainwashing, psychological torture, wearing down her sense of identity,
The stress of experiencing DV can actually cause damage to a child’s developing brain. The emotional stress of exposure to domestic violence can harm the development of the brain and impair cognitive and sensory growth in infants and toddlersChildren exposed to domestic violence have more health problems, poorer school performance, and more behavioral disturbances than children who are not exposed to domestic violenceThey also experience more problems with health and behavior and schoolAnd nearly 2/3 of all murders committed by young men under 20 are sons killing the man who has beaten their mother
Childhood traumatic stress increases the likelihood of hospitalization with a diagnosed autoimmune disease decades into adulthood.Domestic violence is linked with an increased risk oftobacco use, substanceabuse, unintended pregnancy, obesity, cancer, heartdisease, stroke, PTSD
But here? And to “people like us?”There is a general perception that:domestic violence doesn’t happen in affluent classes. Or even if it does occur occasionally, the affluent woman has all the resources she needs to deal with it.The women themselves can be in denial about it.LACK OF SUPPORT “Most people don’t feel sympathy for a woman with financial resources” It’s like; she drives a Lexus, why would she need help? A kind of reverse discrimination. I talked to a woman last week her drives a Lexus to the woman’s shelter she’s staying in—it’s all she has left“…there are no structures in the culture supporting the fact that domestic violence happens to ‘people like us’”Lack of social programs and resources to address specific issues of women with powerful, wealthy abusive partners“The upscale, abused woman feels internal, peer-group, and societal pressure to maintain an external image at odds with how she feels inside”“Most people don’t feel sympathy for a woman with financial resources”“…there are no support structures in place for her to validate the fact that domestic violence happens to ‘people like us’”“The upscale, abused woman feels internal, peer-group, and societal pressure to maintain an external image at odds with how she feels inside”—the pressure to “keep up appearances at all costs”
Unfortunately, coming from money can make it even more difficult to leave, if her partner controls all the finances—which is frequently the case in abusive relationships. The affluent woman often doesn’t have the resources to deal with DV effectively because her partner controls all the finances. In his book Coercive Control, Evan Stark says, “The distribution of money within abusive relationships is sharply skewed in the man’s favor, a condition that puts millions of women in affluent homes at enormous disadvantage in divorces cases or custody disputes.”Stark’s example: the woman whose husband gave her three Mercedes cars in her name, all of which were standard transmissions which she could not drive. After they separated, her husband kept all the credit cards and telephone in his name, continued to monitor her calls and expenses, and used the threat of canceling these services to continue controlling her.Even while she is still married, he often keeps all the money in his name, and it is doled out in small amounts to continue the control over her.
One of the challenges she faces is, affluent abusers often control the finances and have the means to:Make it hard for her leave safelyGet a fair settlementKeep her childrenHunt her down when she leaves or pay someone toTake the abuse out of the home and transfer it to the legal arena
What is He Thinking in doing all this to her?The “man-of means” abuser:The “man-of means” abuser often:Feels entitled Maintains the abuse is always her faultThinks what happens in the home stays in the homeDoes not believe in community property He believes everything belongs to him—including her.Often describes his wife as “bought and paid for”Feels entitled to abuse her in exchange for financial support and material goodsTells her the abuse is her faultDoes not believe in community property
It happens in Marin and Sonoma. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of California represents Marin and Sonoma counties which are affluent areas. And yet there are nights when their shelters are full. As she says Violence against women crosses all economic lines.
AND CLOSER TO HOMESome were cases of murder-suicide with multiple victims. But on average, in our affluent area, there is one domestic violence related death per month.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SOME OF THE BARRIERS WOULD BE FOR A WOMAN TRYING TO LEAVE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RELATIONSHIP?FOR ANY WOMANFOR A WOMAN WITH A WEALTHY ABUSER?
ATHERTON –kept out of newspapers? Woman went for counseling for depression after emotional abuse drove her to the point of being suicidalShe got counselingDecided the cure for her depression was to divorce her abusive husbandWent homeSeveral days later she was shot and killed—by her husband who tried to make it look like suicideWhat we don’t know—did she tell her husband about her plan to leave?PersonalThe shame and social stigma associated with DV in the “upper classes”Where does she run to if she leaves?Fear of losing friends and place in societyHer character will come under attack, she will be accused of: doing things she has never donebeing crazyalienating the children from himbeing an unfit mother, no matter how competent and devoted she may beThe terror of facing a powerful, influential, wealthy man who has a solid reputation in the community, a reputation that his wife has just attacked. Her abusive partner will be feeling betrayed, will be out for vengeance. Many women describe their husbands as “declaring war on them”, vowing to “destroy” or “ruin” them.The effects of coercive control can be paralyzing, maker her believe she can never get out—like a tiger pacing inside a cage—her cage may have invisible walls but theystill hold her inA lot of time money and energy invested in building and maintaining that image. She is now threatening it. Very hard to move from the role of prisoner, indentured servant, slave to petitioner/accuser. It takes confidence, self-esteem, internal strength, courage, toughness, all the things that have been beaten out of her over the years. She now has to worry about losing her home, her children, her lifestyle, her life.Rocket launcher, gun down her throat, what you going to do with these bitches?
Huge social stigma—prevents them form calling the police. Chief Tuck Younis believes there is a strong need for this program because women don’t call the police, they have no idea who to call, who can help themLos Gatos, a man paid $9500 to a hitman to kill the man who stole the woman he loved
Rolanda Pierre-Dixon, Assistant D.A.
Since her abuser sees it as a loss of control
A Silicon Valley lawyer said to his client during her divorce: “Your husband is a doctor. Why don’t you want me to press harder to get a better settlement?”She said because her husband had told her: “Did you know there are more than forty ways to kill a woman and make it look like she died of natural causes”Her lawyer turned gray. They settled quickly for a fraction of what she was entitled to. ANOTHER WOMAN—HER HUSBAND WAS A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHER—THE DEFINING MOMENT CAME FOR HE WHEN SHE FOUND HERSELF ON THE FLOOR AND HE WAS SITTING ON HER HEAD AND SHE WAS THINKING OF THE PHYSICS—HOW MUCH PRESSURE COULD HER SKULL WITHSTAND BEFORE IT CRACKED—SHE WAS SAVED WHEN HER KIDS CAME IN; ANOTHER MAN HAS A GRENADE LAUNCHER IN HIS BACKYARD, EVERY NO AND AGAION STICKS A GUN DOWN HIS WIFE’S THROUST TO SHOW HER WHO’S BOSS; ANOTHER WOMAN IS RAPED BY HER HUSBAND ONCE A WEEK AND STAYS SO HER CHILDREN CAN CONTINUE TO GO TO THE BEST SCHOOLS; ANOTHER WOMAN –HER HUSBAND IS A VENTURE CAPITALIST—HE RAPED HIS WIFE EVERY DAY, WHEN SHE BEGAN TO RESIST MORE, HE STARTED PUTTING AMBIEN IN HER DRINKS SO HE COUD CONTINUE TO RAPE HER;Maybe if she had a lawyer who was not so easily intimidated?Maybe if she’d has a therapist familiar with pTSD and DV?Maybe if she had a skilled advocate to help her plan her her exit? A skilled legal advocate to accompany her to court?
Partner’s technical expertisemakes it possible to monitor his partner’s physical location and internet and phone activity without her knowledgeHe can install the software onto yourphone by sending it a text message and then see all sent and received text messages and emails from your phone.PC Spy & Monitoring Software “SpyAgent has a built in remote email delivery feature and can be installed remotely in complete stealth!” (so he gets copies of all her emails)
Even lawyers can be unaware that domestic violence can be an issue with their more affluent clients and they can fail to screen for it. They must have a lawyer who understands domestic violence in all its forms if they are going to get proper representation.Because their partners often control all the finances and have resources to thrown many obstacles in her way, making it even HARDER for her to leave. Examples:--He can take her back to court again and again over frivolous charges to drain her savings, --Lie and argue convincingly that he is the victim, she is the “crazy” one--drag out the custody battle, --drag out the settlement, --get more than his fair share of the assets, --hire someone or several others to harass her, stalk her, attack her or worse. She MUST have someone representing her who is prepared for all these tacticsFinding a lawyer experienced in all forms of domestic violence and especially emotional abuseGathering courage to fire a lawyer when it becomes clear that she is not being well representedFinding a law firm (versus an individual)Finding a support team (forensic accountant, expert witness, court psychologist, financial planner, estate lawyer)Women trying to leave abusive partners need to find a lawyer who is skilled in domestic violence, not just physical kind but the emotional kind which is more prevalent in affluent areas. The lawyer must be aware of the duplicitous nature of the abuser—the two faces, Jekyll and Hyde. Especially if the abusive partner has a highly regarded profession, a respectable position in the community, and a charming public persona, he can end up convincing the judge that he is the victim. Just because someone is a family lawyer, doesn’t make them an expert in DV. Just because they know about physical DV, doesn’t make them an expert in emotional abuse—the most common form of DV in affluent communities. She will need to interview them to find the right fit and the one with skill in areas she needs it in. My directory will help refine her search.Retainers—some lawyers require a $50K retainer upfront. Some may be willing to work out a deal to be paid out of the settlement later—of there are substantial assets involved.Courage—she will need to build her self-esteem in order to get out, she will need steady consistent support to be able to fire a lawyer if itdoesn’t work outFinding a law firm—lawyers get sick/pregnant/retire, leave for other reasons; will help to have a firm where other lawyers have easy access to all the paperwork (thousands of pages) and previous lawyer, so transition can be more seamless; court dates come up, she must be ready, huge life-changing decisions are getting made--many lawyers don’t even want to handle DV cases because of the litigious nature of the abusive partnersA well-established law firm will also have a well established backup team of forensic accountants, expert witnesses, court psychologists—for one stop shopping which makes it easier for her, so she doesn’t have to go out and track down on her own all of these support people
Even if she lives in an upscale neighborhood, even if she has her own career, her husband may still control all the finances—she may not even have her own checkbookShe may not have the means to hire a good lawyer if her husband controls all the financesShe may wonder how she will cover her living expenses until the settlementHer husband may be hiding assets. She will need a skilled forensic accountantIf TRO results in job loss, she will lose financial security, possibly her homeWoman works as a lawyer by day, gives her paycheck to her husband at nightWoman whose father sold his private bank to Comerica now lives in a shelter
Will they have to leave their friends and make the transition to a new school not as good, new neighborhood not as safe?What emotional toll will a high-conflict divorce take on them?If she is forced to share custody, will he try to turn them against her? How can she protect them from him if he is now allowed access to them without her there to act as some kind of buffer?Will she have to send them to a residential school so they can heal emotionally, unlearn negative, abusive behaviors, and learn what a functional family structure looks like?A local detective told me that one of her clients is a woman in a wealthy neighborhood. She is raped by her husband once a week. She stays so her children can go to the best schools.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SUSAN AND HOW WE CAN HELP HER BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HER:WRITE ON WHITEBOARDLET’S SEE IFWE CAN ADD RESOURCES AS WE GO ALONG
Not knowing what steps to take can be paralyzingNot knowing which step to take first can be dauntingone call to a lawyerone visit to a support groupone confidential conversation with a friend KAIZENFOR SUSAN—SMALL STEPS AT HER OWN PACE (TO AVOID FEELING OVERWHELMED)
ADD TO SUSAN LIST: Offer empathy, support
Six Steps to Freedom: Although these steps are numbered for reference, you can start anywhere and work on any one of them at any time.It could take years for her to get ready. She may end up deciding to stay. That doesn’t mean failure on your part—or hers. A DV advocate I know quit MAITRI because so many women were choosing to stay—she was frustrated with what she perceived as her lack of success. How do you measure your success?Getting the information out to her, giving her support, continuing to give her support even if she stays.Sometimes it takes decades to get the courage and resources to leave.She is the one most qualified to make her own decision in the end.She may leave and then go back! That’s not failure on your part or hers either.What are some reasons? Finances, lack of beliefe in herself, the promises he makes to change, his power over her.Returning to her husband after leaving—most women return between 7-12 times before leaving for good, even though each time the abuse gets worse
Let’s add resources FOR SUSAN as we go alongI have many listed in a my directory. I have copies for anyone who is interested at the end of the session.I’ll touch on some highlights and let’s see if some apply to Susan.
SAFETY PLANNING?—DO YOU THINK THAT APPLIES TO SUSAN?RED FLAGS: WHAT ARE RED FLAGS?PUSHING, STALKING , emotional ABUSEPeriod of highest risk is when her abuser finds out she is leaving and for first two years after she leaves, though there may always be some risk after thatPregnancy is anothert high risk period—the leading cause of death in pregnant women—murder by their intimate partner
* An abused woman should be sure to include her face in the photo if there are bruises, so there is no mistaking her identity as the victim.Detective Susan Anderson, interview, 8/11/11SUSAN: WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT PHYSICAL ABUSE—ASK HER MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THISJOURNAL WILL BE VERY HELPFUL TO BUILD A CASE FOR EMOTIONAL ABUSE—DATES, SPECIFICSVOICE RECORDINGS OF HIS TIRADES—ESPECIALLY IF SHE FEELS ENDANGERED—MAY BE ADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE EVEN IF HE DOESN’T KNOW HE’S BEING RECORDED
HANDOUTS: COUNSELING for susan? What would be the goals of counseling?to build her self-esteem, help her develop language around the emotional and verbal abuse, recognize red flags, begin to plan her escape strategySUSAN—INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING AT CHAC—everyone knows about mandated reporting?
Is everyone familiar with Next Door? YWCA? Bill Wilson Center?SUSAN—CHAC—FAMILY THERAPY FOR HERSELF AND SONCHAC—INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR HERSELFSUPPORT GROUP ATNEXT DOOR—encourage—she may continue to refuse to go because of the shame/social stigmaHOTLINE—SHE CAN CALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
SUSAN: A PARENTING COACH TO HELP HER WITH SON’S BEHAVIOR TOWARDS HER—WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT USRELATIONSHIP COACH FOR THE FUTURE TO HELP HER DEFINE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP, RECOGNIZE RED FLAGS (LIKE EXCESSIVE JEALOUSY, BEING CONTROLLING, CRITICIZING BEHAVIOR)DIVORCE COACH CAN HELP HER NAVIGATE THE COURT SYSTEM—MAY HELP HER KEEP CUSTODY OF HER CHILDRENDV CONSULTANT –TO HELP EDUCATE HER ABOUT ALL HER OPTIONS
SUSAN: FAMILY THERAPY For mother and child—but NOT including the battererDomestic violence is not a self-control issue. It’s a control issue. If someone comes to the door in the middle of a domestic violence incident, the abuse stops instantly and the public face re-appears.Abuser will display his public image, not his true self; no truth= no healingAbuser will make his spouse pay later for any incriminating remarks—can actually end up making the situation worseShe will be afraid to speak the truthAbuser will take what he learns and use it to manipulate and further dominate and control his spouseFor counseling to work, client must be willing to consider the role he plays in any dysfunction—the abuser tends to blame others rather than examine himselfOne of my clients is a therapist convinced by her pastor to go to counseling with her son and husband—a disaster—he became even more abusiveWe MUST get the word out to therapists and spiritual that when there is an abusive partner involved marriage counseling is not helpful and can be very harmful
Many women take referrals from a friend or in the yellow pagesA family law student can graduate without ever taking a single course in domestic violenceHer friend may have gotten a good settlement—DV may not have even entered the case“Lawyers should not be seduced into thinking that because their clients drive expensive cars and live within prominent zip codes that they are immune to or can successfully extricate themselves from intimate partner violence.” Many lawyers fail to screen their more affluent clients for domestic violence and many women will not volunteer that information unless asked.“In reality, when economically privileged women are abused, [their wealth can] make it more difficult for them to manage or escape from the abuse.”Kara Bellew, Silent Suffering: Understanding Domestic Violence in Affluent Communities, Women’s Rights Law Reporter, Winter, 2005Even lawyers can be unaware that domestic violence can be an issue with their more affluent clients and they can fail to screen for it. They must have a lawyer who understands domestic violence in all its forms if they are going to get proper representation.Because their partners often control all the finances and have resources to thrown many obstacles in her way, making it even HARDER for her to leave. Examples:--He can take her back to court again and again over frivolous charges to drain her savings, --Lie and argue convincingly that he is the victim, she is the “crazy” one--drag out the custody battle, --drag out the settlement, --get more than his fair share of the assets, --hire someone or several others to harass her, stalk her, attack her or worse. She MUST have someone representing her who is prepared for all these tacticsFinding a lawyer experienced in all forms of domestic violence and especially emotional abuseGathering courage to fire a lawyer when it becomes clear that she is not being well representedFinding a law firm (versus an individual)Finding a support team (forensic accountant, expert witness, court psychologist, financial planner, estate lawyer)Women trying to leave abusive partners need to find a lawyer who is skilled in domestic violence, not just physical kind but the emotional kind which is more prevalent in affluent areas. The lawyer must be aware of the duplicitous nature of the abuser—the two faces, Jekyll and Hyde. Especially if the abusive partner has a highly regarded profession, a respectable position in the community, and a charming public persona, he can end up convincing the judge that he is the victim. Just because someone is a family lawyer, doesn’t make them an expert in DV. Just because they know about physical DV, doesn’t make them an expert in emotional abuse—the most common form of DV in affluent communities. She will need to interview them to find the right fit and the one with skill in areas she needs it in. My directory will help refine her search.Retainers—some lawyers require a $50K retainer upfront. Some may be willing to work out a deal to be paid out of the settlement later—of there are substantial assets involved.Courage—she will need to build her self-esteem in order to get out, she will need steady consistent support to be able to fire a lawyer if itdoesn’t work outFinding a law firm—lawyers get sick/pregnant/retire, leave for other reasons; will help to have a firm where other lawyers have easy access to all the paperwork (thousands of pages) and previous lawyer, so transition can be more seamless; court dates come up, she must be ready, huge life-changing decisions are getting made--many lawyers don’t even want to handle DV cases because of the litigious nature of the abusive partnersA well-established law firm will also have a well established backup team of forensic accountants, expert witnesses, court psychologists—for one stop shopping which makes it easier for her, so she doesn’t have to go out and track down on her own all of these support peopleA Temporary Restraining Order keeps the abuser away from the woman and her children—for her own personal safety—and emotional safety, to keep him from trying to manipulate her back into the relationship.Her lawyer or legal advocate can help prepare it. She will be more likely to get one with their help.FAMILY VIOLENCE APPELATE PROJECTIN BERKELEY—FOR BAY AREA--non-profit--to appeal harmful court decisions like awarding custody to the battererSHOULD SUSAN GET A RESTRAINING ORDER? RED FLAGS—STALKING EMOTIONAL ABUSE, SELF-HARM, DEPRESSION, JOB LOSS, SHOVED HER, “DESTROY HER”MAYBE. SHE SHOULD CONSULT WITH A LAWYER OR LEGAL ADVOCATEIF SHE ENDS UP LOSING CUSTODY OF HER SON—SHE MIGHT CALL THE FVAP IN BERKELEY TO SEE WHAT RECOURSE SHE MIGHT HAVE (A Los Altos Businesowner lost custody of her 16 year old daughter)SUSAN’S HUSBAND IS A TEACHER—LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER, CARES ABOUT KIDSSHE IS A STOCKBROKER—WILL BE MADE TO LOOK LIKE A GOLDDIGGERSHE IS THE HIGHER EARNER AND WILL BE AT RISK FOR HAVING TO PAY HER HUSBAND ALIMONY AND ATTORNEY FEESWILL NEED A GOOD ATOORNEY FAMILIAR WITH DIRTY TRICKS ABUSERS PLAY IN COURT—HIDING ASSETS, CHRACTER ASSASSINATIONIF SHE WAS ON ANTI-DEPRESSANTS BECAUSE OF THE ABUSE, HE WILL BE USE THAT TO MAKE HER LOOK CRAZY AND UNFIT TO PARENTHE WILL TRY TO GET CUSTODY IN ORDER TO AVOID HAVING TO P[AY CHILD SUPPORT
When she interviews an attorney, even if only once, her partner can’t hire him.Some lawyers don’t charge for the initial consultation.She may want to interview several to find the right fit. Her partner may use interviewing multiple lawyers as an unethical tactic to narrow her choices—another reason not to tell him she is getting a divorce before having “all her ducks in a row”SUSAN SHOULD USE THIS STRATEGY TO FIND A LAWYER WITH A LOT OF EXPERIENCE IN EMOTIONAL ABUSE
APPLIES MORE TO YOUNGER CHILDREN—HER SON IS 14If a woman is fleeing domestic violence with her children, she should call the District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit to file a “Good Cause” report as soon as she leaves, so the authorities know she is fleeing domestic violence, and her husband can’t accuse her of kidnapping them.She can make a “Good Cause” report by calling: (408) 792-2921.
keeps the abuser away from the woman and her children—for her own personal safety—and emotional safety, to keep him from trying to manipulate her back into the relationship.Her lawyer or legal advocate can help prepare it. She will be more likely to get one with their help.SHOULD SUSAN GET A RESTRAINING ORDER? RED FLAGS—STALKING EMOTIONAL ABUSE, SELF-HARM, DEPRESSION, JOB LOSS, SHOVED HER, “DESTROY HER”MAYBE. SHE SHOULD CONSULT WITH A LAWYER OR LEGAL ADVOCATEIF SHE ENDS UP LOSING CUSTODY OF HER SON—SHE MIGHT CALL THE FVAP IN BERKELEY TO SEE WHAT RECOURSE SHE MIGHT HAVE (A Los Altos Businesowner lost custody of her 16 year old daughter)But she can do it herself:To get the court forms and help in completing and filing these forms, she can visit the Santa Clara County Superior Court's Restraining Order Help Center, located in the basement of the Family Court building at 170 Park Center Plaza, San Jose, California 95113. This office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and assists people on a first come, first served basis.
ASK INTERNS: Can an abuser be a good father if he “only” abuses his wife and not his child?Re Susan: If parents get 50-50 custody, father may continue to undermine Susan’s authority, may start abusing child, since she is no longer there to act as a bufferRe courts: YesRe Lundy Bancroft: No—one of a father’s duties: to teach how to treat women ; witnessing abuse damages childCourts encourage ongoing contact with both parents and often fail to consider abuseAnother reason for a good lawyer well-versed in DV
SUSAN—GET FINANCIAL INFO AND SET UP HER OWN ACCOUNTIF SHE TELLS HIM SHE’S LEAVING HE MAY SWOOP ALL THE MONEY OUT OF THEIR JOINT ACCOUNTQuietly, carefully, without telling her abuser, she can take care of the following:Bank accounts:copy account numbersset up her own in a different bank—and keep it secret!Get advice from her lawyer about how to access joint funds and make sure she can meet her legal, financial, and personal needs.Have enough for money for:RetainersMovingLiving expensesRentCounseling—personal and for childrenThe UnexpectedGet a credit card in her nameSUSAN –FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT MIGHT HELP PROVE HER HUSBAND IS WELL OFF, HAS MONEY FROM HIS FAMiLY OF ORIGIN, DOESN’T NEED TO BE SUPPORTED BY HER
SUSAN might be able to use a forensic accountant to determine her husband’s assets especially if he comes form a wealthy family.Other women have no idea how to balance a checkbook, save money, plan for their financial future—that’s where some self-sufficiency skills can helpNext Door offers that.
SUSAN –EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE PLACEMENT IN A RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER FOR THERAPEUTIC BOARDING SCHOOLDivorce takes a tremendous toll on childrenDivorce where there is abuse involved takes an even greater toll Children are often called the “hidden victims” of divorceEven “A” students may need extra academic support at this time to help focus, organize, complete assignmentsEducational consultants can offer a gamut of services, ranging from helping students choose an appropriate school or college, to special needs consulting.Residential Treatment CenterTherapeutic Boarding SchoolPrivate Boarding SchoolSpecial Needs Programs
CHILD CAN GO TO REGULAR SCHOOL AND ALSO ATTEND SIL TO MAKE UP CREDITS, FOR EXTRA INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION
FOR SUSAN? IF HER SON CONTINUES TO FAIL DO DRUGS AND BE ABUSIVEEducational consultants can offer a gamut of services, ranging from helping students choose an appropriate school or college, to special needs consulting to residential schools with full-time therapists.
Most valuable resource—KEEP TALKING TO OUR SUPERVISOR AND LET YOUR CLIENTS KNOW YOU ARE A MANDATED REPORTER—IF THEY TELL YOU ABOUT ABUSE OF A CHILD OR PLAN TO HARM ANOTHER YOU MUST REPORT\\WITH CHILD ABUSE—THEY OFTEN GET LEFT BEHIND—CPS IS OVERWORKED AND THEY OFTEN END UP SAYING “DOES NOT RISE TO THE LEVEL”SOMETIMES IF A WOMAN REPORTS ABUSE AND DOESN’T LEAVE, HER CHILD CAN BE TAKEN FROM HER FOR “FAILURE TO PROTECT”—VERY TRICKY, TALK TO YOUR S UPERVISOR!!
Isolation Damaging her children Criticism, Shame Confinement
There is a way out for every woman struggling to escape from domestic violence
GIVE OUT COPIES TO STUDENTS!!QUESTIONSEVALUATION!!!!!
PASS OUT EVALUATIONS
FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED
Special thanks for their support, insight and suggestions:All of these wonderful people have pledged their support as I move forward with this project.
Chac talk 11.0
Domestic Violence in Affluent CommunitiesOMENFEANSSCAPEETWORK, ilicon alley
Women-of-Means Escape Network~ Silicon Valley W.O.M.E.N.~SV’ s Resources mission: Personal We support and empower all women in Therapeutic their struggle to free themselves from Legal domestic violence Financial We address the specific challenges of Vocational professional and upper- income women through Educational a network of resources Website: www.losaltoscf.org/womensv Email: email@example.com Phone: 650-996-2200 2
WOMEN~SV is an official program of: Los Altos Community Foundation
Next Door Solutions24-hour HotlineDV advocatesLegal advocatesSupport groupsSelf-sufficiency training
Agenda• Assessment• Statistics• What is Domestic Violence?• The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children• Domestic Violence in the Affluent Community• Barriers to Leaving• Resources and Directory—Susan’s Story• Questions• Evaluations
The hidden epidemic… 1 in 4 women is a DV victim “The prevalence is very high in educated, employed U.S . Women”2 85-95 percent of DV victims are women “IPV affects the entire population, not just certain subgroups .” It cuts across all socioeconomic groups31 Office of the District Attorney, Santa Clara County,2 Robert S. Thompson, M.D., of the Group Health Center for Health Studies,June 2006 issue, American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 73 Phil Hammer, esq.
What is Domestic Violence?The intentional and consistent use of power to control an intimate partner through means such as physical, verbal, sexual and financial attacks.1Includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound their partner2—or someone their partner loves3. 1 CORA 2 U.S. Department of Justice 3 Rolanda Pierre-Dixon 8
The main form of abuse in affluent communities is… Emotional: constant criticism threats diminishing her abilities name-calling damaging her relationship with her children• the most harmful form of abuse.• The emotional scars from this kind of abuse can last a lifetime.
A pattern emerges. A cycle… Except, according to Susan Weitzman, Ph.D, affluent men tend to skip the apologies. 10
… as the cycle becomes a downward spiral 11Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence; Web: www.apiahf.org/apidvinstitute
What’s it all about? Power and Control C OP NO TW RE OR L 12
A pattern of “coercive control”Tactics used to gain control over her:• Show of Violence• Intimidation• Isolation• Degradation• Barring access to resources• Undermining her autonomy• Micromanaging and invading her personal spaceCoercive Control: how men entrap women in 13personal life by Evan Stark, 2007
Coercive Control• Inducing exhaustion• Occasional indulgences• Threats• Demonstrating omnipotence• Enforcing trivial demandsOhio Domestic Violence Network Information is Power sourcebook—www.odvn.org—developed from Biderman’s Chart of Coercion inAmnesty International (1975) report on torture 14
“Death by a thousand cuts.”These tactics are ongoing and cumulative.They wear her down over time, corrode herself-esteem, her sense of self, wholeness, andindependence. They are the same kind oftactics used to wear down prisoners of war.Coercive Control by Evan Stark, 2007
The damage to children• DV harms brain development, impairs cognitive and sensory growth• More health problems, poorer school performance, and more behavioral disturbances• Nearly 2/3 of all homicides committed by young men under age 20 are sons killing the man who has beaten their mother. http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/Children.pdf
And when they grow up… 1 in 3 abused children grows up to become an abuser or victim http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm• Increased risk of autoimmune disease• higher risk for tobacco use, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy, obesity, cancer, heart disease, stroke, PTSDCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
Even in “nice” neighborhoods…There is a general perception that:• Domestic violence doesn’t happen here.• She has all the resources she needs to deal with it. Not to People like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages, Susan Weitzman, Ph.D., 200120
The problem with money… “The distribution of money within abusive relationships is sharply skewed in the man’s favor, a condition that puts millions of women in affluent homes at enormous disadvantage in divorces cases or custody disputes.” 21Coercive Control: The Entrapment of Women in Personal Life , Evan Stark, Oxford University Press, 2007
Affluent abusers often control the finances and have more resources at their disposal to:• Thwart the woman’s escape• Reach an unfair settlement• Take custody of the children• Find her when she escapes• Use the legal system and high-powered attorneys to continue the abuse 22
Affluent abusers use their public image to deny, ignore, and cover up their abuse……but it’s getting harder! 23
In upscale Marin and Sonoma Counties…• "I represent an affluent district, but when I worked to form my countys first battered-womens shelter, some nights there were no beds left.”• “Violence against women crosses all economic lines.” -- Representative Lynn Woolsey of California 24
16 DV Deaths in 2011• Last year, in Santa Clara County, the number of domestic- violence-related deaths in Santa Clara County tripled from 5 (in 2010) to 16.1• Most of these deaths occurred in more affluent areas.2• On average, over one murder per month 1 Santa Clara County Public Health Dept 2 Kathleen Krenek, Executive Director, Next Door Solutions to Community Violence.Personal Interview, 10-3-2011
Barriers to Leaving• Economic • Coercive control* dependence • Isolation• Parenting concerns • Lack of Resources• Low Self-esteem • Loss of friends,• Guilt and self-blame current schools, lifestyle• Partner’s Social Status • Attitudes/pressure (Society, Religion,• Immigrant Status culture, family)• Shame & Embarrassment
Challenges for affluent women Social stigma Lack of social support Lack of programs for women in affluent neighborhoods Lack of connections, social resources (stay at home mom, isolation) vs partner’s Who will believe her? Partner’s public image/career may be ruined if truth comes out Vengeance 28
Risks:That the threats to kill her or her family may become a reality Risks… • Losing her children, her reputation, her home, her social standing, her lifestyle, her life savings • Being stalked, harassed, bullie d, injured, killed • If she files a restraining order against him, it may cost her abuser his job and there goes all the support she was 29 needing.
Leaving • On average, a person in an abusive relationship will make 8-10 attempts to leave • Important to understand how leaving can impact a person’s safety • A woman should never tell her abusive partner she is planning to leave him—puts her life at risk • 90 per cent of women who are killed by their intimate partner are killed AFTER they leave.11 Kathleen Krenek, Executive Director, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
The more educated the abuser, the more subtle the threat can be…But just as terrifying…What theSilicon Valley surgeon told his wife 31
Challenges• Finding a lawyer with experience in A family law attorney student can graduate the field of domestic violence without ever taking a single course in domestic violence• “Lawyers should not be seduced into thinking that because their clients drive expensive cars and live within prominent zip codes that they are immune to or can successfully extricate themselves from intimate partner violence.”• “In reality, when economically privileged women are abused, [their wealth can] make it more difficult for them to manage or escape from the abuse.”Kara Bellew, Silent Suffering: Understanding Domestic Violence in Affluent Communities, Women’s Rights Law Reporter, 33Winter, 2005
Challenges• Financial—even if she works outside the home, abusive partner may still control all the finances• Between 22% and 57% of homeless women report that domestic violence is the immediate cause of their homelessness. The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty 1411 K Street NW, Suite 1400 Washington, DC 20005
More ChallengesParenting/Schooling• New school not as good, new neighborhood not as safe?• Will her children become more abusive to her?• Emotional toll of a high-conflict divorce ?• Risks of shared custody—50% custody= 50% unprotected
The journey of a thousand miles… Each day she can ask: “How can I take a step so small that it is impossible to fail?” By making the steps as tiny as possible, she guarantees small successes she can build on and gain momentum: Each step, no matter how small, takes her that much closer to freedom.Based on One Small Step Can Change Your Life: Robert Maurer, 38Ph.D. UCLA psychologist
Six things to say to a DV Victim• I am afraid for your safety• I am afraid for your children’s safety• I am afraid it will only get worse• You are not alone: I am here to help you/ I can find someone who can help• You don’t deserve to be abused; no one deserves to be abused• It is not your faultFamily Court Judge Wellerhttp://web.mac.com/nevadapress/nevadapress.com/Domestic_violence_guide_files/Covering%20Domestic%20Violence-Media%20Guide.pdf
Six Steps to Freedom• There are six types of help and support she will need in order to get out safely and effectively.• Although they are numbered for easy reference, almost all of them can be done in any order and at any time. 40
Individual 1 Educational Counseling 6 2 W. O. M. E. N. Legal Financial 3 5 Vocational 4It doesn’t matter where she starts. It only matters that she starts— 41 when she is ready.
1 Mapping the Route Individual to Freedom… Self-Care Evidence Property Security HousingSafety Plan 43
SafetyFirst!!* Safety Planning She can talk to a counselor about: Important papers (birth certificate, social security card, wedding certificate, driver’s license, etc) Insurance cards, Clothes Extra set of car keys Medication School records, vaccination records Address book Cell phone Credit card Cash Where to go if she has to leave quickly How to leave as safely as possible What to do if she is followed 44
Family Therapy… For mother and/or child, not including abuser Marriage counseling/family therapy is NOT recommended when there is an abusive partner Batterers Intervention Programs: 5% effective Anger Management: 0% effectiveBret Johnson, Ph.D., Indira C and Signe C, Next Door Domestic 51Violence Advocates
3 Mapping the Route Legal to Freedom… Community County City Private PersonalLawyer 52
Legal LawyersWhen she interviews an attorney, her partner can’t hire himSome lawyers don’t charge for first consult.Interview several to find the right fit.Warning: interviewing multiple lawyers as an unethical tactic 53
Legal District AttorneyDistrict Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit for a “Good Cause” report 54
T.R.O. Legal Temporary Restraining OrderFAMILY VIOLENCE APPELATE PROJECTIN BERKELEY—FOR BAY AREA Brooke Mueller Gets TRO against Charlie Sheen--non-profit--to appeal harmful court decisions likeawarding custody to the batterer“Why would a judge give custody to anabusive parent? It’s crazy, but it happens.Very often.”SONYA Passi, Founder of FVAP 55
Legal Point to PonderCan an abuser be a good father if he “only” abuses his wife and not his child?
4 Mapping the Route Financial to Freedom… Settlement Income Tax Financial Planning Estate Planning PersonalCash 57
4Financial Income Tax Forensic Accountant Accountant Budgeting support 58
Financial All community property is half hersIt is crucial to have a good lawyer in order to get a fair settlement.California is a community property state. In spite of what her abuser may have told her, it is NOT all his money.She helped her partner earn it by providing her own supportive services and she is entitled by California law to half of all community property. 59
6 Mapping the Route Educational to Freedom… Educational Public Consultants Schools Private Schools TutorsSchool 60
6 Local Private SchoolsEducationalGirlsBoysCo-ed 61
MVR Your SupervisorConsult for mandated reportingShe or he may spot red flags you’ve overlooked—they could be life changing, life saving
With………….………………….……… moves… these six steps she ……. Aligning herself with powerful alliesFROM: Connection, Support GroupRe-victimization Saving her children Isolation Damaging her Positive Self-Talk children Escape Plan/ “Exit Strategy”Criticism, Shame 64 Confinement
Secret SavingsFROM: Confiding in friends, alliesFinancial hardship Discovering her own powerSworn to secrecy Taking back control of her life, His power her future SurvivorHis control over herlife, her present 65 Victim
The Good NewsThere is a way outW.O.M.E.N.~SV and other support networks can help find itEvery communication is confidentialShe doesn’t even have to give her nameShe must leave on her own terms when she is readyRemember: She should never tell her plans with her abuser 66
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepEach step, no matter how small, takes her that much closer to freedom 67
• Of all the things he has taken from her, including perhaps the best years of her life, her past, her present,there’s one thing her abuser can never rob her of: her future. 68
If there’s an abuser involved… another get a divorce!
We are here to: Resources support and empower Personal women in their struggle to free themselves from Therapeutic domestic violence Legal To address the unique challenges of Financial professional and upper- income women through Vocational a network of resources Educational W.O.M.E.N., SV is a non-profit program partnered with Los Altos Community Foundation 71
Acknowledgements:Rolanda Pierre Dixon, Esq., Assistant District Attorney, Santa Clara County, Chair of Santa Clara County Domestic Violence CouncilMaureen Lowell, LMFT, Vice Chair, Domestic Violence CouncilJulie Saffren, Esq., Santa Clara University ProfessorIndira Chakravorty, Signe Correa, Domestic Violence AdvocatesRichard Ferry, M.S., LMFT, Expert Witness in Domestic ViolenceMiriam Bodin, MA; Jennie Heckman, Ph.D., Educational ConsultantsEdith Collin, MFT, Martha Cravens, Ph.D., Stewart Kiritz, Ph.D. TherapistsAdriana Caldera, Domestic Violence Program Director, YWCASusan Anderson, Los Altos Police Officer and Former DetectiveTuck Younis, Los Altos Police Chief 76