Whether in real life or on the big screen, there is a reluctance to shed light on the issue of domestic violence against women by men in positions of power and influence. Those affected by this growing epidemic of domestic violence are desperately trying to comprehend how men are able to insulate themselves from any semblance of accountability.  Women who date or marry men in positions of power who are physically, mentally and/or financially abusive are often subjected to further humiliation during separation and/or divorce. More often than not, they end up voiceless, powerless and hopeless.

CEOs, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers and higher education administrators are just a few of the male-rich occupations that seem to be protected from any consequences for their abusive actions against their wives, fiancés, and girlfriends. These women find themselves as losing players in very public separations and divorces. Throughout the grueling process, they become subjected to police harassment and other forms of intimidation. Their voices are silenced with threats of retaliation, minimal spousal support is paid, and in some cases, custodial custody of their children is taken. Efforts to reach out to the proper authorities fail, and they are stonewalled and left to fend for themselves.

The lack of an investigation into substantiated abuse ends with an implicit stamp of approval from those who should be objective and fair, but who are more concerned with protecting the organization for which the abuser is employed or the image of the abuser. Because of his title, position and associations, the abuser is free to continue his destructive pattern of behavior without fear of requital from his employer, law enforcement or the justice system.

As an attorney, I am passionate about the legal system being fair and just. It must be the voice for the woman who is voiceless against a man deemed to have privilege and perceived power. I have experienced firsthand the victimization associated with domestic abuse and the struggles women face when they finally get the courage to share their stories. Unfortunately, the law does not always provide remedies and protection to them. When a legal system ceases to hear both sides of the domestic abuse story and fails to make fair and objective decisions irrespective of a man’s power, position and associations, it ceases to be a legal system. Instead, it becomes a fraternity of powerful individuals – and in most cases, men – that upholds the wrongdoings of one of its revered members.

We must be willing to wage war on an unjust justice system in an effort to be heard, to be treated fairly and to maintain our dignity and respect as women. We must render the so-called powerful, powerless. After all, abused women matter.