Keeping up Appearances


Women Who Seem to Have it All Suffering Silently

20/20 Downtown
Dec. 11



Educated, successful, financially well-off and married to their Prince Charmings, such women may seem to have it all.

But many of them suffer in isolation and shame because they think domestic abuse doesn’t happen to people like them.

“I think it’s important to change the face of what the abuser looks like,” says Susan Weitzman, Ph.D. and author of “Not to People Like Us,” for which she interviewed or treated hundreds of wealthy, college-educated women who had been battered by their husbands.

“He does wear Armani suits, he does head up organizations,” she adds, pointing out that the women she spoke to were married to CEOs, professors, doctors and executives.

According to Weitzman, the women are also often highly successful, sometimes over-achievers who believe they can and should be able to fix their abusive marriages. There is a whole population of women, she says, who live in abusive marriages, shamed into believing that abuse doesn’t happen to people like them.

While there have been some high-profile cases, including Nicole Brown Simpson, most upscale women remain in the shadows, says Weitzman.

But one woman, Zivile Clampitt, stepped out of the shadows to share her story with 20/20 Downtown. Clampitt was married for 14 years and she and her husband had four children together.

From the wedding photos and birth announcements, to foreign adventures and a luxurious dream house, she says her life may have looked perfect. But what didn’t make it into the scrapbooks were the bruises, the restraining order and her husband’s guilty plea for battery. He says there was only one incident of abuse in their marriage.

“The more the situation escalated, the harder I would work to make it OK,” she says. “ It was as if there was a castle and it was built on a sand foundation and I was just trying so hard just to try to keep everything from collapsing.”

Following are excerpts from Weitzman’s book:

A Safety Plan

A safety plan is essential for anyone living in an abusive marriage, and it must be established prior to an episode. It includes how the woman will escape each room in her home, and how she will get out of the house and away from the residence. She must also have an idea of where she can go, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. She should familiarize herself with the location of the closest hospital and police station and warn friends and family that she may need to call on them in case of emergency. Some women arrange a code word when they call their safe friend to indicate they are in imminent danger or need to leave the house and the abuser is present. At that point the friend should contact the police. Other women have the means to arrange for a private safe house …

A safety plan also means having everything ready for a quick getaway … the woman should pack a small suitcase with originals or duplicates of the following items:

driver’s license and registration

ATM card, checkbook, bank account number(s), credit cards, cash

identification papers, including birth certificate(s), passports, work permits, green cards, insurance policies, and her husband’s social security number

police records or evidence of past violence such as photographs and any other important legal documents

children’s school and immunization records

address book or list of important phone numbers, including those of domestic violence

hotlines or coalitions, the hospital and the police domestic violence unit

mediation(s), keys, about a week’s worth of clothes for her and her children, and anything of great sentimental value.

…If she already has an order of protection (OOP), she should keep it with her at all times…

There are many reasons to call an attorney. For instance, the woman should be aware that if she chooses to leave with her children and prevents her husband from seeing them, that is considered a federal offense. She may be charged with child abduction unless she first files either an emergency custody order or obtains custody provisions within an order of protection… A victim of domestic violence should not tell the batterer she is leaving or thinking about leaving in advance of making her move…

Excerpted from“Not to People Like Us” Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages by Susan Weitzman. Copyright ©2000 by Susan Weitzman.

Domestic Violence Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)
www.ndvh.org

National Network to End Domestic Violence
202-543-5566
http://www.nnedv.org

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
303-839-1852
http://www.ncadv.org

Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence Family Violence Prevention Fund
800-313-1310

U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/

Battered Women’s Justice Project
800-903-0111

Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
800-313-1310

National Resource Center on DV
800-537-2238

Domestic Violence Shelter Tour
800-621-HOPE

National Battered Women’s Law Project
212-741-9480

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence
334-832-4842
800-650-6522
http://www.acadv.org/

Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
907-586-3650
http://www.andvsa.org/

Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence
602-279-2900
http://www.azacadv.org/

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence
501-812-0571
ssigmon@arkansas.net

Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (in California)
805-654-8141
24-hr hotline: 805-656-1111
Spanish hotline: 800-300-2181
TDD: 805-656-4439

Statewide California Coalition for Battered Women 562-981-1202
888-722-2952

California Alliance Against Domestic Violence
916-444-7163

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
303-831-9632
888-778-7091
ccadv@ix.netcom.com

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
860-524-5890

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
202-783-5332
http://www.dccadv.org
My Sister’s Place (in Washington D.C.)
24-hour hotline: 202-529-5991

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence
302-658-2958
24-hour bilingual line: 888-522-2571

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
850-425-2749
800-500-1119

Georgia Advocates for Battered Women and Children
404-524-3847
800-643-1212

Georgia Coalition on Family Violence, Inc.
770-984-0085

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
808-486-5072

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
208-384-0419
888-293-6118

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
217-789-2830
800-677-2830

Life Span
24-hr crisis line: 847-824-4454

Friends of Battered Women and Their Children
773-274-5232
800-603-HELP
info@afriendsplace.org

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
317-543-3908
800-332-7385

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
515-244-8028
800-942-0333

Kansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence
785-232-9784
888-END-ABUSE (in Kansas only)

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association
http://www.kdva.org/

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
225-752-1296

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
207-941-1194

www.mcedv.org Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
301-352-4574
800-MD-HELPS

Jane Doe Inc./Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
617-248-0922

Bay County Women’s Center
800-834-2098
517-686-4551

Michigan 24-hour crisis line: 517-265-6776

Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
517-347-7000

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
651-646-6177
http://www.mcbw.org

Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
601-981-9196
800-898-3234

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence
573-634-4161

Women’s Support and Community Services
314-531-2003

Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
406-443-7794

Crisis Line
406-453-HELP

Nebraska Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition
402-476-6256
800-876-6238

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence
775-828-1115
800-230-1955

SAFE House
702-451-4203

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
603-225-9000 (outside of N.H.)
603-224-8893
800-852-3388 (in N.H.)

New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women
609-584-8107

New Mexico State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Legal helpline: 800-209-DVLH
505-246-9240
800-773-3645 (in NM only)
nmcadv@nmcadv.org

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
518-432-4864
800-942-6906

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
919-956-9124

North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services
701-255-6240
800-472-2911 (in ND only)

Ohio Domestic Violence Network
614-784-0023
800-934-9840

Action Ohio Coalition for Battered Women
614-221-1255

Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
405-848-1815
800-522-7233

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
503-365-9644
800-622-3782 http://www.ocadsv.com

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence/National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
717-545-6400
800-932-4632
800-537-2238

Puerto Rico Coordinadora Paz Para la Mujer, Inc
787-281-7579

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
401-467-9940
800-494-8100

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
803-256-2900
800-260-9293

South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
605-945-0869
800-572-9196
http://www.sccadvasa.com

Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence
615-386-9406
800-356-6767

Texas Council on Family Violence
512-794-1133
800-525-1978

Utah Domestic Violence Advisory Council
801-538-4635
800-897-LINK (in Utah only)

Women Helping Battered Women (in Vermont)
802-658-1996
800-228-7395

Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
802-223-1302
vnadvsao@sover.net

Virginians Against Domestic Violence
757-221-0990
800-838-VADV

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
360-407-0756
wscadv@cco.net

Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline
800-562-6025

Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence
206-636-1903

West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
304-965-3552
http://www.wcadv.org

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence
608-225-0539

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
307-755-5481
800-990-3877

International Organizations
Human Rights Watch, Womenights Project
202-371-6592

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNEFEM)
212-906-6400