Found at the scene of the crime two dead bodies stabbed brutally, and left
to die at their house. This was the story that shocked the country in 1991.
This was the start of the O.J. Simpson domestic abuse case that is still going
on today. Unfortunately events like this happen many times over everyday in
many setting all over the United states; however the victims of the other cases
don’t get nearly as much publicity.
Some facts about domestic abuse:
An average of nine out of 10 women have to be turned away from shelters
The reason so few cases get assigned initially is the police usually
don’t have enough officers to meet the demand
At the Portland Women’s Crisis Line, where calls have doubled since the
killings of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, they welcome the increased
From July 19,through March 31, 1993 a total of 3,665 domestic violence
cases were reviewed in Portland Oregon. Of those, only 281 cases resulted in
some action taken against the accused abuser. Some of this is because there is
not enough police, but it is mostly because the abused person is scared.
For the last six months of 1993 and the first three months of 1994
Portland averaged about 1,000 calls each month or 12,000 calls a year.
In January 1992, 30 criminal domestic violence complaints were issued.
For January 1994, the number was more than 100.
Nationally, estimates range from 2 to 4 million women assaults each year.
Some studies show that 20 to 30 percent of all women who seek help at
hospital emergency rooms are there because of domestic violence.
Kyra Woods never made it to the emergency room. Whoever killed her saw to
that. She suffered 13 stab wounds to the back five of them so violent the knife
came out the other side of her body.
Wood’s mother, Mable, and two aunts wept quietly in a back row of the
courtroom as the prosecution argued against bail for Woods’ former boyfriend
Jackson. Rod Underhill, the prosecutor, painted a picture of domestic violence.
He told of a dramatic moment after the killing, when Woods’ 4-year-old son,
holding a teddy bear, re- enacted the attack. “He put his hands around the neck
of the bear and shook it,” Underhill said. “He began to pound it with a closed
fist and slug it.”
Mable Woods said that her daughter never told her much about any abuse.
Neighbors, however, told police of hearing the couple fight violently. According
to police reports, one neighbor said, “They fought so hard the pictures on the
wall shook back and forth.”
Jackson has pleaded innocent. His attorney, Angel Lopez, points out that no
murder weapon has been found. He said the account from the 4-year-old boy could
not be matched with any others, and he pointed out inconsistencies in the boy’s
statements. Bail was denied.
Jackson was accused of killing his former girlfriend, Kyra Woods, by
stabbing her 13 times. His bail hearing normally would have merited little
public attention. What brought out the cameras and reporter was the Simpson case.
Children are often the unseen victims of domestic abuse. they see one
of their parents being harmed and this leads to high stress. Boys tend to be
much more hostile when raised in a broken home. They are also ten times more
likely to be abusive when they grow up. Girls raised in an abusive family tend
to be very shy and afraid of boys. When they grow up they are 50 times more
likely to marry an abusive husband.
The effect of domestic abuse on society is negative, but unfortunately
it does not get much publicity unless it involves a figure that is well known
such as O.J. Simpson. Another sad thing is that people often shrug off domestic
abuse calling it a personal matter because they don’t want to get involved or
they are afraid of what people will think about them
Survivors have found the emotional strength to break from their abusers
through different means: a hot-line number remembered from a restroom wall, a
wallet card of crisis numbers from a pediatrician who would not overlook a
mother’s black eye. A grown child begging her mother to flee–and a shelter with
an open bed.
The women, some with their identities changed to protect their privacy,
talked about shame, guilt, fear of triggering even greater violence, low self-
worth, isolation, embarrassment, numbing depression, concern for children,
foiled escapes, a unrealistic sense of