Why Do Women, Rich Or Poor Remain In Abusive Relationships?
Although many women have moved from the backroom to the
boardroom, there are still inequities when it comes to their relationships.
Along with the employment gains women have made, there are still
remarkably high numbers of women, rich or poor who choose to
remain in relationships where domestic violence is prevalent.
I was asked basically the same question by Geraldo Rivera. He posed it in relation to
how I would counsel Rihana, a high-profile victim of domestic abuse inflicted upon her
by her celebrity boyfriend, Chris Brown. Before I answer the question, let me share
some statistics from my recently published book, “How To Get To The Palace From
Your Prison: Joseph’s 14-Step Program to Overcome Loneliness, Depression,
Discrimination, Barrenness, & Abuse”
Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former
spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year, to three million women who are physically
abused by their husband or boyfriend per year. Around the world, at least one in
every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex ,or otherwise abused during
her lifetime. Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically
or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to
a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey. Women are seven to 14 times more likely than
men to report suffering severe physical assaults from an intimate partner. The health-
related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners
exceed five point eight billion dollars each year (CDC study). On average, more than
three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.
In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men
were killed by an intimate partner.
In a nutshell, from my experience women, rich or poor, remain in abusive situations
typically because of low self-esteem, fear, conditioning, exposure as a child to
domestic or child abuse in the home, poverty or the inability to financially provide
for themselves and their offspring.
The key to solving the problem of domestic abuse is multifaceted. Providing housing,
employment, and food will not make the problem go away. This is clearly evident in
the fact that domestic abuse does not discriminate and is found all over the world
regardless of income, race or class. Please note that domestic violence is also found
among lesbian and gay couples.
The approach to solving domestic violence will take the cooperative effort of first
of all the couple, who must acknowledge that there is a problem and they must be
willing to seek help. If they chose to stay together, not only does the victim need help,
but also the abuser, who often suffered abuse at the hands of a parent or someone
in authority over them at some point in their life.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a family. To end domestic violence we will
need all the resources that a village can offer to come together and work side by
side- family, relatives, friends, police, school, counseling agencies, the church,
government and legislation to end this dysfunctional behavior that is eroding the
fabric and stability of families and relationships all over the world.
Let's put and end to domestic violence against men, women and children today!
Any ideas on how we can get started? Let me hear from you.
© 2009 C. Joyce Farrar-Rosemon
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- BA, SM, Ed.S, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia
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