Domestic abusers often avoid prosecution, receive lighter sentences than others who commit violent acts, and don’t finish their court-ordered intervention programs. The issues reflect tensions between criminal justice reforms and rights and the fight to protect women.
Strangulation of women is a persistent and increasingly reported form of violence in Oklahoma, with hundreds of cases reported annually. It is not always fatal, but it is terrifying, can cause long-term injuries and is known to be a precursor to homicide.
“Unfortunately, we will have to see some horrible deaths for people to wake up and address this issue.”
– Candida Manion, director, Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, on strangulation of women.
Where to Find Help
Statewide domestic violence hotline
YWCA, Oklahoma City
Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa
Women’s Resource Center, Norman
Intervention With Domestic Abusers
Multimedia reporter Whitney Bryen spent much of 2019 reporting on a topic that affects far too many Oklahoma families – domestic abuse. So far, Bryen has revealed that strangulation is a common form of power and control against women and cases against alleged abusers in rural areas often collapse when victims decline to testify. She unpacked a little-known ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that could allow fearful victims to testify remotely, found that most offenders aren’t completing state-mandated intervention courses and examined a system that relies on defendants to voluntarily surrender firearms. Help us shape ongoing coverage by contacting Bryen at email@example.com with your stories, feedback or tips.