I think that anything is possible in today's society. Many times we look at a story that shocks us, makes us think about our own relationships, or makes us question our surroundings.
I would hope that Armand's treatment of Desiree would not be condoned today, but to many people fear the judgement of others to admit what happens in their private spheres.
There are still men, in our society today, that believe in the ownership of their wives. Although one may find this outrageous, it does not mean that it does not happen.
The way that people act today frightens, offends, and shocks us. Should we deny that something similar to what happens to Desiree would not happen in our world today? No. Look around...anything in our world is possible.