Continuing this month’s series on Domestic Violence Awareness, I wanted to touch on three more distinct stories, with separate themes. The first is a horrible story from Kentucky, where a man used the family dog as part of the instrument of violence against his girlfriend. I have prosecuted cases where offenders will often abuse the family pet, knowing that this is another way of upsetting the victim. But this offender took it one step further. See her story here.
The next story explores the trauma of a Miami woman who did leave her husband, but he found her, and shot her. He is still at large; his picture is below. Please read her story here. This Miami Herald story also discusses the challenges involved in domestic violence cases.
Lastly, Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete who was known as the “Blade Runner”, was released from prison yesterday to serve the rest of his murder sentence under house arrest. He was tried for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Reeva was shot by Pistorius through a locked bathroom door in the home they shared because, as he stated, he believed she was an intruder. Despite the evidence that came out at trial indicating she was afraid of him, the presiding judge found him guilty of the lesser charge manslaughter and sentenced him to five years in prison. After serving only one year in prison, he will spend the remainder of his sentence in his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria.
This is a reminder that domestic violence affects all races, all ethnic groups, all socio economic backgrounds, and all countries. I have worked with domestic violence victims who covered their bruises with Chanel sunglasses, to those who scraped by on government assistance. The evil disease that is DV does not discriminate; neither should we in our assumptions.