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Not To People Like Us Hidden Abuse In Upscale Marriages Hardcover – September 5, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chicago's affluent North Shore provides 20-year veteran psychotherapist Weitzman with abundant evidence of the secret lives of "upscale domestic abusers" and their victim-wives. Shattering the cultural myth that emotional and physical violence in the home is confined to couples of a lower socioeconomic class, the author presents vivid case histories that are often excluded from clinical studies and statistics. Lacking a frame of reference for domestic violence in this echelon, health-care professionals ignore the signs, while law enforcement agents and judges go easy on it, she contends. Few believe or sympathize with a well-dressed, bejeweled woman if she finds the courage and self-respect to speak out against her successful, respected, powerful and often charming husband, while battered women's shelters turn her away, assuming that she has many other resources. But according to Weitzman, she doesn't. While often well educated and successful, the "upscale abused woman" is typically ignorant of her legal rights, convinced by her abuser that she is responsible for his behavior and isolated by her denial and shame from validating voices and potential assistance. Weitzman's upscale abuser exhibits Narcissistic Personality Disorder, feels eminently entitled and is incapable of seeing his wife as a person in her own right. Weitzman provides excellent practical advice for these women to make choices that extricate them from abuse, and proposes a new language and better education regarding "upscale violence" for the professionals who are likely to see it in their work.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Weitzman, a professor of social work, coined the phrase "upscale violence" for domestic abuse among the affluent, something that has been ignored and denied in research on the subject. Nationwide, four million women each year are victims of domestic violence, an unknown proportion of them from families with household incomes of $100,000 or more, according to Weitzman. In her 23 years of mental health practice, she noted the silence surrounding upscale violence. Affluent women are less likely to be assisted by police, courts, and counselors, because of the widely held belief that domestic violence doesn't occur among the well to do. But Weitzman interviewed 14 women, aged 24 to 62, for this revealing look at upscale violence. She recalls a client who went to domestic violence court in a fur coat, standing among lower income sister-complainants. Her case wasn't taken as seriously, though, like the others, she had a black eye. Weitzman looks at patterns of abuse and coping strategies and how abuse among the affluent differs from that of the more widely researched abuse among lower income families. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (September 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465090737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465090730
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book came into my life exactly when I needed it! Susan Weitzman's discussion of the abuse in up-scale marriages was exactly what I needed to help me cope and understand what was happening in my divorce to a multimillionaire. After 16 years of abuse, my decision to leave my husband was only the beginning of a nightmare. His threats to ruin me, take our child, destroy my life, were combined with illegal wiretapping of my computer and legal maneuvering to ensure I could not leave. Added to this were multiple mistresses and hidden bank accounts. Susan's book is excellent reading for anyone going through a divorce to a wealthy emotional/physically abusive man. It should be required reading for divorce lawyers and judges.
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Format: Hardcover
I wish Not To People Like Us had been written nine years ago;I think my self-esteem, my daughter, and myself would have been spared much pain. Dr. Weitzman's book is inspirational and demonstrates considerable caring for the women she has worked with. As a social scientist myself, I found her research to be original and hopefully the start of more work in this area, too little examined thusfar. The insightful explanations of why women such as myself stay in abusive relationships and theoretical exploration of abusive husbands (suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder)help make sense of how I could have stayed in my my marriage and how men such as my ex-husband could treat their wives so cruelly. It has been a long road back recovering from the abuse that I thought(at the time)was only happening to me. I felt quite alone and isolated and, as Dr. Weitzman aptly described it, had no one to validate my feelings or encourage me to leave. This book should be given to every daughter and, perhpaps to every young son to read. I found it to be a fresh, profoundly moving, well-written and informative book, long overdue.
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Format: Hardcover
"Upscale violence": a term coined by Dr. Susan Weitzman, a practicing psychotherapist in Chicago, refers to the often hidden physical and/or emotional abuse that is endured by married women of means. In her groundbreaking, well-referenced study: "Not to People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages," Dr. Weitzman focuses a narrow lens. She offers a unique contribution to the literature on domestic violence: her work is based on many years of experience, both working in women's shelters and counseling battered wives. Through a combination of case studies of these poignant yet punished women of means and a rigorous analysis and review of the extant literature on domestic violence, Dr. Weitzman presents and proves a powerful thesis. She debunks the myth that conjugal abuse correlates with lower-class status, and, at the same time, deflects the hostility that some of her peers have heaped on her for selecting this particular population. "A unique aspect of this book is the 'inclusionary' dimension of targeting battered women of means. . . .[which] is not a claim that this population needs special attention," says Dr. Weitzman, but "[r]ather it is an attempt at 'specifically' including upscale wives who have been overlooked in the larger group of abused women."
Who are these women? They are well educated, with at least a bachelor's degree; they live in the top 25% of this country's neighborhoods; they see themselves as upper-middle-class or upper-class; and their combined marital income exceeds $100,000.00. While Dr. Weitzman delineates the "typical profile" of the upscale abusive husband, she does not indulge in male-battering. She correctly identifies domestic violence as a systemic problem.
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Format: Paperback
I have lived domestic violence in the past and for many years,I have worked with all types of abusers and victims from all socioeconomic backgrounds, so my perpective is a bit broader. I remember when this book first came out, we even attended an 'upscale violence' training as a result of this book, some were scoffing at the idea of upscale violence. The abusive behaviors and victim coping strategies are almost identical across all socioeconomic spectors, however there are two things that stand out in my experience that make this book a needed tool: the power difference. All abusers wield power over victims: Physical force, emotional blackmail, threats, finances and resources..etc...but the amount of power held by the abuser and the lack of power held by the victim are both crucial elements to consider. In a poor household, if the woman flees in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on her back, it is extremely difficult for her because she has nothing, no resources. Society has falsely assumed that rich women should be able to leave easily because they have so much 'power', so many resources.....not necessarily so when the abuser is both powerful and ruthless...he can find you anyplace you go, he can hire attorneys and fight endlessly to take your children away, to discredit you, and he can destroy your career if you have one......so the assumption that a rich woman can easily end her abuse and just walk away is not accurate. Some rich and powerful abusers, resort to murder too. The poor woman is limited by her lack of power, so is the rich woman, but in a different way. I appreciate the fact that the book deals with the social stigma associated with the affluent revealing that 'all is not well' in their houses, in fact, it may be quite savage and barbaric within their home.Read more ›
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