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Success exempts no one from domestic violence

Houston residents may have seen recent news reports involving British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. According to news reports, the writer and lifestyle celebrity, who is known across a wide range of media outlets dealing with food and cooking, was recently assaulted in a London restaurant by her businessman husband. Photos showed the two engaged in a dispute and the husband's hands around Lawson's throat. The two separated soon after the photos became public.

In general, most people think celebrities are immune to domestic violence. In reality, they are no more immune to violent family conflict than they are to the common cold. Social standing matters little when it comes to domestic violence.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 5 million American women from all socioeconomic groups suffer domestic violence of some sort at a national cost of $5.8 billion each year. Globally, the World Health Organization claims that domestic violence affects roughly 30 percent of women around the world. The WHO defines domestic violence as including both physical and sexual assault.

Sadly, the shame victims of domestic violence feel often leads them to rationalize events, blame themselves and excuse their attackers. Abusers who are not confronted by the victims, law enforcement officials or the courts tend to minimize or dismiss their behavior as less serious than it really is.

Anyone who is the victim of domestic violence, whether male or female, celebrity or average citizen is encouraged to speak to a knowledgeable family law professional. Experts can help end the abuse by obtaining a restraining order that could save a victim's life.

Source:,"Opinion: The rich and famous are not immune to domestic abuse,"Michele Weldon," June 18, 2013

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