One pleasant sunny day in Southern California, Linda was talking on the
phone with her daughter and happened to glance out the window. She saw
one of the neighbor ladies running down the street yelling, “He's going to
kill me!” The terrified lady ran into an open garage a few doors down. A
concerned neighbor closed the garage door to give her sanctuary. A few
seconds later the lady's husband, holding a 50-caliber handgun at his side,
followed at a quick stride. He approached the front door of that house, shot
the door lock, and entered the house. He saw his wife run upstairs. He
followed, approached her, pointed the weapon at her, and fired repeatedly
until the gun was empty and her body was lifeless. The once peaceful street
had become a murder crime scene as well as a battlefield for the SWAT
team who pursued the murdering husband.
This is not the beginning of a fictional murder mystery novel. It is a true story. It relates an extreme act of domestic violence, and unfortunately it is not a rare incident. Every day in the United States there are four women murdered by a male partner. This horrific fact is made worse by the realization that there are more women killed in acts of domestic violence in any 5-year period than all the Americans killed in the Vietnam War (Berry, 1998).
It would seem so, in view of the fact that in the United States in 1970 there were no shelters for battered women. Currendy there are over 1,300