Stowe Family Law’s senior partner, Marilyn Stowe, was recently interviewed for The Times’ Body & Soul supplement, about domestic violence. The feature was published on 23 July 2011, and an abridged version appears below.
She’s alpha at work but she’s bullied at home
High-achieving women are being abused by their partners but failing to get help, say experts. Anna Moore reports
The leading divorce lawyer and family law blogger Marilyn Stowe isn’t surprised. In fact, she has seen it many times. “These highly successful women who are independently wealthy come into my office and some have been putting on a bit of a façade for a very long time,” she says. “They have been in denial, pretending that everything is fine, when actually they’ve been worn down slowly but surely. When you start digging, you discover a very nasty relationship.”
Stowe also sees women who seek legal advice as their first port of call. “Sometimes they come in just because a friend has urged them to get advice,” she says. “These types of cases often provoke very nasty battles for children, especially when the woman’s career is more successful than her husband’s. He argues that he has more time on his hands for children. It takes a lot to get out of a marriage, and sometimes I don’t think that the women have the energy or the confidence to do it. They’ve channelled their strength into their work but their self-esteem is shot to pieces. I tell them to see a doctor or a counsellor first and to come back when they’re ready.”
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