Another survivors story


Yvette Cade is an amazing survivor. She had a protection order against her ex-husband Roger Hargrave, and District Court judge Richard A. Palumbo revoked it. Weeks later, Hargrave showed up at Cade’s work and doused her in gasoline and set her on fire! The top website is her home page and is full of strong, positive advocacy for survivors of domestic violence. Below is an article that I found discussing the incident as well as bringing to light the fact that women that are being abused have to chose between keeping their jobs or fleeing for their lives. With women’s work being so much more underpaid than men’s it is difficult to find gainful employment easily. There is a substantial lack of support systems in place to help women leave their abusers. When there are support systems available, the ones that need it the most may not have access to information about them.

Cade Shares Domestic Violence Story With Congress

April 18, 2007 – 5:10am


Yvette Cade, a domestic violence survivor from Temple Hills, Md., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 17, 2007, before the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety subcommittee hearing on workplace domestic violence. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

Capital News ServiceWASHINGTON – The third-degree burns melted her chin and took parts of her ears as Yvette Cade attempted to put out the flames that nearly engulfed her the day her ex-husband stormed into her workplace, crushed her toes and lit her on fire.

“I felt my skin dripping,” the Maryland woman told senators Tuesday in support of legislation to address domestic violence in the workplace. “I was just like a great wall of fire.”

“What happened to me is extreme . . . but by no means isolated,” Cade testified of the highly publicized attack in October 2005 at her office in Clinton, Md. Since then she’s undergone at least 18 surgeries and 92 days of initial hospital recovery, according to information submitted to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety.

Only about 4 percent of employers provide training on domestic violence, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The legislation sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., seeks to protect domestic violence victims by enforcing regulations, including allowing leave time without penalty, unemployment compensation for victims of abuse and barring employers from making hiring decisions based on a victim’s domestic violence history.

For many victims, the choice between losing a job and putting oneself in danger is a difficult one, because not enough laws exist to protect and support domestic violence victims who must maintain their financial stability, said Cade who faced that choice.

“I think if Ms. Cade had been working in the District of Columbia when she was attacked, she would have been eligible for employee insurance compensation,” said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

“Right next door (D.C.), they have it in place,” said Cade in a later interview, explaining that her job did not offer compensation for the time she took off to go to court. “I was in the next county over from D.C. and I would have had that protection.”

Cade worked for a T-Mobile retailer in Clinton at the time of the attack, and testified that if she could have requested the day off work without consequence, she would have. That could have avoided her ex-husband’s 2:30 a.m. threat that day to “fry me like Crisco grease.”

However, employers who protect their employees risking becoming targets of the abusers, said Sue Willman, a Missouri employment attorney and domestic violence survivor.

“When they view anyone as assisting the victim, they view it as conspiracy,” Willman told the subcommittee, even when employers do something as simple as offer time off or screen calls for the victim.

Cade agreed that employers can and should do much more to help abuse victims.

“I was fortunate enough to survive, but not all others are.”

(Copyright 2007 by Capital News Service. All Rights Reserved.)





I found an article written by Griffin in 1998 discussing how some of the current laws being used to judge cases where women have killed their abusers were created. They have evolved from a time when it was socially acceptable for MEN to fight each other using fists, and that it was considered an unfair fight if one MAN was armed and the other was not, since they were presumed to be EQUALS. This does not take into account that men are usually larger and stronger than women, and from what I have seen, women do not make a fair match against a man in a fist fight.


We have seen that the notion of a fair fight among equals heralds from frontier law, and means that an assault with the hands, fists or feet does not ordinarily constitute a threat serious enough to justify killing an attacker in self defense (51). Statistics reveal however, that many male abusers do use their hands, fists and feet with serious or deadly results. Therefore, it is logical to assume that a battered woman who kills her abuser commits a “reasonable” act of self defense. For example, a comprehensive study of female homicide victims in Philadelphia revealed that, of the 41 percent of women who were killed by their husbands and the 21 percent killed by their by their boyfriends, one-quarter of the women died by the use of hands, fists or feet (52). Despite these statistics, the law does not believe that an assault by an unarmed assailant is sufficiently dangerous to allow for a plea of self defense. The battered woman who faces an abusive partner is not engaging in a fair fight among equals because, while it is unlikely that she could kill him without weapon, he can kill her. Consequently, physical inequalities create a situation wherein a woman engaged in a fight with a man needs a weapon to make the fight fair





This article is very disturbing, it is written by Joe Wheeler Dixon, PhD, JD who has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology & History, a Master of Arts in Psychology , a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology , and a Juris Doctorate of Law.

He has much experience with psychology, and has experience with our legal system. According to his curriculum vitae, he provides legal counsel regarding psycology issues.

Dixon is quite opinionated on the issue of the battered women syndrome. Dixon is against allowing the battered women syndrome being used in court cases stating in the article linked above that “BWS has not been established nor accepted in the field of psychology by serious and rigorous empirical researchers. ”  Dixon deny’s that the battered women syndrome is a valid syndrome and insists that the syndrome will only hinder our justice system than help.

Using the cloak of science to avoid the difficult jurisprudential questions raised when battered women kill, advocates of BWS found initial success and notoriety. However, today and in the future, these advocates may likely find themselves in the same old world, possibly worse off than before. In fact, there may have been harm done to the reputation of the science of psychology because of the well intended but poorly grounded efforts of just a handful of clinicians.

 Despite Dixon’s laundry list of experience, I did not see any experience on the topic of women’s issues or domestic violence. I personally believe Dixon to be a pompous ass that believes that his word is as if from god himself!

I have found many articles discussing the affects of BWS. This link below discusses some of the points that Dixon brought up.


Another opinion that I have is, unless he has lived it, then Dixon should not judge people who have. To suggest that our current legal system has worked so far and that we should keep it as is is asinine!

One of my stories

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Christina Aguilera’s song “Oh Mother”  really hits home with me.  I was married to someone that I thought was a good man. He treated my children great and he was very open and giving to me. We dated a year before becoming engaged and buying our home in Federal Way Washington. We had no children in common, but I had three, two boys and a girl, and he had one, a son. We included our children in our wedding, since it was a blending of the families and not just us getting married.

Shortly after we wed, we found out that he was to be activated and then deployed. He was a scout in the National Guard. He began his up training, and the tension grew. I began having anxiety over him being in such danger, since his job was to go outside of the wire and interact in dangerous areas. We began having arguments and he became more physical towards me. He threw me out of our bed during one argument and pushed me down the hall with the intention of throwing me out of our home. He pushed me down the stairs and I fell against the front door and began bleeding. The physical damage was small, but the emotional damage was just beginning.

He was deployed shortly after and was nothing but sweet while he needed our support. He left for Iraq and we were once again on good terms.

We wrote all of the time, and my family sent many care packages. We talked on the phone as much as possible. I will always remember one call, I was sweeping the kitchen floor, it was a beautiful day. Then in the background I could hear loud explosions. They were being mortared as we spoke. This was terrifying to me! I couldn’t stop crying and I just felt sick! He assured me that he would be fine, and that being mortared was a daily thing.

While he was over there he taught himself Arabic. He became an interpreter and was able to interact more with the locals with children being his favorite. We began sending things for the children so that he could have items to give out.

Six months into his year long deployment he was blown up. He was driving the up armored Humvee. They were blown up and turned upside down. The gunner (who was 20) was thrown and did not survive. The other two men were also injured to varying degrees. They were able to get out of the vehicle, which was in a 20 foot deep crater which was the result of 4 anti-tank bombs stacked on top of each other. When help arrived, one of the men was digging my husband out of the vehicle with his bare hands.

Here is a link to a more in depth story of what happened to him.




I was able to fly to Germany to see my husband, and we spent a month at Walter Reed Hospital. The carnage there was very under reported. There were so many young boys that were severely disabled, physically as well as emotionally. It is amazing to me just how many body parts can be missing and the person still lives.

Just over a month later, my husband was able to transfer to Madagan Army Medical Center closer to home. My husband was getting stronger. We decided that I would quit my job of 13 years so that he could come home instead of going to a nursing home. I was totally financially dependant on him.

As he grew stronger he realized his limits and was in constant pain. At first he was grateful of my care since he was bed ridden and could not take care of even his most basic needs. He began to resent being so dependant on me and once again became more violent.

He was about a foot taller than me and had combat training. He knew exactly how to hold me down and use his weight to control me. He had repeatedly punched me in my face while holding me down by my throat with his forearm. Afterwards, he was contrite and we began marriage counseling.

As we tried to work on our marriage, he began to start fights with my then 12 year old son. He repeatedly said that he wanted my son to move out and go live with my parents. He threatened my son with a baseball bat when he thought that I could not see him. This spiraled out of control ending up with my husband attacking my son in the same manner he had done to me.

I was in the kitchen and heard a fight over the computer ending with a huge crash. My husband had knocked my 12 year old backwards in the computer chair and had him pinned down by his throat, punching in over and over in the face. I began hitting my husband and trying to push him off my son. He finally stopped and glared at me. I called the police. My son did not get off the floor until they arrived. Screaming for my husband to get off my son and to stop was the very last thing that I have ever said to him. He was thrown in jail and got a slight slap on the wrist.

My children and I lost our home, my husband refused to pay the court ordered mortgage and spousal maintenance. I finished up my AAS degree in Business Management and was lucky enough to have an excellent counselor at Highline Community College. She told me about WSU’s family housing and I applied. We moved five hours away from my family and the danger of my husband. 

It took a year to be divorced due to him fighting me every step of the way and costing huge legal fees. He never did pay anything, including the proceeds from the sale of our $350,000 home. To me, it was worth losing out on the money.

Our house was within sight of my parents house, and not long after we moved to Pullman, my husband was caught with 3 assault rifles with scopes that he had obtained illegally. I believe that he intended to kill me since he had told me (toward the end of our marriage) that he would like to kill his first ex-wife. My husband was also committed for 2 suicide attempts. With him feeling like as if he had nothing left to live for shows that he was a very dangerous person.

I also found out by his sister, after his injury,  that his father had sexually abused him for years along with his 2 sisters. I had known that he was physically abused by his father and abandoned by his mother at age 12.

This is proof that the cycle continues. I hope to make a change with my education, and I would like to be able to help other people that have been affected by domestic violence. Without a strong network of people, I may not have survived.

I found an article from The Free Press, 1987 written aboutAngela Browne of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. Browne compared two groups of abused women, those that killed their abusers and those that did not. Browne found that a higher percentage of abusers that were murdered repeatedly raped their partners, more so than abusers that were not murdered. “More than 75% of women who had committed homicide claimed they were forced to have sexual intercourse with their husbands, compared to 59% in the group of women who had not killed their husbands.” (Browne 1987)

When interviewed, one woman disclosed her feelings that she believed that her husband “wanted to tear me apart from the inside out and simply leave nothing there.”

As a survivor of spousal rape, I know the feelings of helplessness during the rape as well as after. When I went to the gynecologist for the bleeding and pain, my doctor gave me pain medicine and did not advocate for me to press charges or leave my husband. I was left to bleed for a week after being tied down and sodomized by my husband who was over a foot taller than me, as well as on crank.

My family also believed that I should stay with my husband. There was a serious lack of support to leave him. It was as if the option was not even there.

Browne also discusses that many “men  murdered by their spouses had often threatened to kill their partners”.  Suicide was also threatened, perhaps to try to control their partners and try to make sure that they did not leave.

Suicidal thoughts are common among battered women. Some women feel that it is the only way out.

One woman in Browne’s study expressed her wish to escape abuse when she decided not to seek help after a severe beating because she thought “[death] might not be so bad; like passing out only you never get beaten again.”


<a href=”http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2081/When-Women-Kill-Their-Partners-FACTORS-THAT-INFLUENCE-MURDER-HUSBANDS-BY-WIVES.html”>When Women Kill Their Partners – Factors That Influence The Murder Of Husbands By Wives</a>

Til Death Do Us Part


When the courts do not allow spousal abuse to be considered a factor during trial, the courts are basically saying that the abused is not important. Their experiences and traumas are not relevant.

The video that I found is clips from a movie about 13 women who have killed their abusers, and are sentanced to life in prison.

The movie Til Death Do Us Part will go into more detail on the homicide cases, along with information on the prison system that will not allow parole for women who have killed their abusers that have already served a substantial amount of time in prison.

It is important to hear the stories of these women, and it is even more important for changes to be made in the criminal justice system. The system is set up on the basis of men. When the courts only look at the fact that the woman had a weapon and the man did not, the courts are not taking into account the fact that men are usually stronger than women, especially with upper body strength.

Since courts have not looked at the fact that women who have killed their abusers did so out of self defense, and after perhaps years of being abused, then these women are being treated unfairly.

The battered woman syndrome is not something that has been allowed to play a role in court hearings. This is substantial evidence!

Til Death Do Us Part will be a powerful movie, and will give cause to rethink the current standard of punishment for women who have killed their abusers.



To order this video, click on the link below.


The Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project was started in 1991 by Susan Fair. Fair recognized a need for a more progressive way to treat women who have killed their abusers. Currently,judges do not instruct jury’s on laws about self defense. It is shown that women are given far harsher sentences than men who have committed the same crime.  The project is looking to have women parolled who have had information left out of their trial such as abuse sustained by their intimate partners, as well as women who were living in fear of their partners/abusers and was present during a crime committed by their partner/abuser.

As stated in the Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, more women are killed by their intimate partner than men.


In the U.S., one-third of female murder victims are murdered by male partners, and women survive an estimated 4.8 million rapes and physical assaults each year at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends. By comparison, less than 4% of male murder victims are killed by female partners, and most of those are women acting to defend themselves from men who have repeatedly beaten them. In Michigan, one woman is murdered by a husband or boyfriend every five days. The establishment of shelters, wider public education and greater economic options for women have resulted in a dramatic decrease in men who are killed by female partners over the past thirty years. However, the number of women who are murdered by male partners has not decreased significantly during that same period. (2008)


The project also shares pictures and stories of women and their circumstances surrounding their incarceration. After reading all of the stories on this site, I feel that there is much left out of the actual trials. Either by prejudice or lack of knowledge, judges are not taking into account pertinent information such as past abuse, imminent danger, the right to use deadly force to avoid rape, and self defense of battered women.