Shallow
Justice

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.


“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

(800) 799-7233

YWCA, Oklahoma City

(800) 522-7233

Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa

(918) 743-5763

Women’s Resource Center, Norman

(405) 701-5540


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 wbryen@oklahomawatch.org with your stories, feedback or tips.