Monday, May 02, 2005

AG Urges Dear Abby Letter Writer to Seek Help

Attorney General Drew Edmondson today said a letter from an Oklahoma woman posted in “Dear Abby” illustrates the problem of domestic violence, and he encouraged the letter’s writer to seek help.

The letter, which was signed “Hurting in Oklahoma,” was from a 24-year-old woman who claims to be a long-time victim of domestic violence. In the letter, “Hurting” describes an incident where her husband kicked her repeatedly and then doused her with lighter fluid. When the man left the room, the woman left the house, only to return months later after her husband promised to end the abuse.

The letter’s writer then describes a period of happier times known to experts as the “honeymoon” phase, followed by an escalated level of violence that included gunfire.

“Often, abuse victims get caught up in this cycle where the abuser agrees to change and then eventually returns to old habits,” Edmondson said. “The violence will continue to escalate until the victim either dies or gets help. It’s a matter of life or death for this woman and all domestic violence victims to get help.”

Edmondson urged the woman to contact the safeline for domestic violence victims. That number is 1-800-522-7233. Edmondson also said Dear Abby’s advice of contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline was sound advice.

“Even though the number given in the column is a national hotline, victims can be referred to local shelters,” Edmondson said. “The national hotline also gives victims advice on how to escape their attacker.”

The number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

The attorney general said he was also concerned about “Hurting’s” assertion that she had contacted local law enforcement about the abuse, but they “refuse to do anything.”

“It is the job of the law enforcement community to protect our citizens,” Edmondson said. “We can not allow law enforcement to turn their backs on domestic violence victims. If the woman who wrote that letter will contact our office, we will protect her privacy and make sure she gets help. The number she should call is (405) 522-0146. We hope she will not wait.”

Source: Attorney General Press Release


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