*Warning: This post contains graphic images that sensitive viewers may find disturbing*
There are many figures and statistics regarding domestic violence reports that are shocking, but perhaps the most staggering of them all is that the numbers you hear or read about are considerably low in comparison to the number of true victims worldwide. The official percentage of women who have or will experience domestic violence in their lifetime is at 35-percent but experts warn that number is actually much greater.
There are many reasons for the disparity between reported domestic violence and the actual number of victims. In some countries and cultures, it is believed that men have every right to “keep women in their place,” while in others, they don’t have any support system like a shelter to go to. Still, in others, they are ashamed or made to feel as if the abuse they experience is their fault.
Even when the police are called and an arrest is made, women are tormented by their abuser from a jail pay phone who threaten them that the violence will escalate if they don’t drop the charges or testify against them. Unfortunately, there have been cases of domestic violence where the victim has died, making it very difficult to prosecute their abuser solely based on circumstantial evidence.
That’s why last Friday’s ruling in Ohio that a woman who was killed by her former boyfriend can testify at his murder trial is so groundbreaking. In doing so, Judy Malinowski becomes the first victim of domestic violence to testify in their own murder trial. In August 2015, Judy and her fiancée, Michael were at a gas station in Ohio when they began to argue. Slager doused Judy in gasoline and set her on fire. Witnessed called 9-1-1 reporting that a woman was “engulfed in flames.” Judy sustained third- and fourth-degree burns to 90-percent of her body, lost fingers, her ears, and she had an open wound across her back as she fought for her life for two years in critical condition.
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