Legal Domestic Abuse
The Rape of Affluent Battered Women
by Their Divorce Lawyers
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Battered women (in affluent marriages) and divorce attorneys are a receipt for rape in the rawest form—legal abuse in domestic violence divorce.
Now this doesn’t mean that divorce lawyers are rapists or that domestic abuse victims are an accident waiting to happen. What it means is that the dynamics between these two groups of people are ripe for a classic rape.
Battered Women and Divorce
Battered women are both empowered and vulnerable on the threshold of divorce court. They experience the exhilaration of being out from under their perpetrator’s control, at least in the home. You can actually feel the burden of oppression lifted from their spirit at the prospect of their sweeping the eggshells from the kitchen floor.
They walk in the world with this newfound relief as they open to experiencing themselves in a new way beyond the grip of their abusive relationship. The optimism, innocence and habits of victimization that they bring with them sets them up for their next controlling relationship—the one with their divorce lawyer.
Lawyers and Domestic Violence Divorce
Divorce attorneys, who claim to specialize in domestic violence divorce, salivate when this kind of client walks through the door. From their point of view, these are easy catches.
These women are vulnerable. They have messy circumstances. They are easily controlled and readily contained. And most importantly, even though they don’t hold the key to the estate, they can point to where the treasures are.
Battered Mothers, Wealth and Legal Abuse
When these women seek counsel for divorce, they often engage in an abusive controlling relationship before they even know they are in one. It can start with counsel luring them in with promises and keeping them bobbing endlessly, all while sitting on an unread file after the retainer is received.
Or, it may be that counsel repeatedly fails to keep the client in the loop with respect to their divorce proceedings. Appointments to meet can be missed, cancelled and endlessly put off... Important pleadings can be withheld and evidential records “gone missing.”
Sometimes these women scratch their head wondering who is their attorney actually working for? Is it them or their opposition? All they know is legal fees are generated, money is spent for legal counsel and their case lingers on and on and on...with no end in sight.
Empowering Battered Mothers
In working with women in high conflict divorce, I have seen many battered mothers taken advantage of severely by their own counsel. And then there are those women who grab the bull by the horn and learn to stay on top of their divorce proceedings and out from under legal domestic abuse.
These are the domestic abuse survivors who do not walk away penniless, homeless and childless. These are the women who do their homework and know their rights. They learn how to interact with their counsel and manage their case without being raped in the process.
If you are in a domestic violence divorce, learn how to stay on top of your case and in collaboration with your divorce lawyer before the ship sails out of sight and spirals out of control.
For more information about divorce abuse, visit www.preventabusiverelationships.com/legal_domestic_abuse.php . Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals nationwide end and heal domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.