Right to self-defense coming too late for some domestic violence victims
Woman shot in front of son, 10
February 20, 2004
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS -- At sunrise Wednesday, with three blasts from a high-caliber rifle, the troubled lives and marriage of Charles and Cloay Swope came crashing down right before the horrified eyes of their 10-year-old son.
So unreal, it seemed to neighbors, spotting Cloay's lifeless body collapsed in a pool of blood on the front porch of the Renshaw Road home she once shared with her estranged husband, two children and mother-in-law.
And so unanticipated the violence seemed, too, for close friends and family who wondered what happened. How Charlie could fire two bullets into Cloay, as police said, and then turn to fire a third into his own skull. It was all just so sudden and without warning, some said.
But, five years of Campbell County court and police records say otherwise.
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A thick stack of reports and court orders of protection tell the story of a pair of young parents' seriously disturbed relationship, plagued by threats of harm, divorce and alleged harassment, always momentarily quelled by vows to try again to make the marriage work.
The most recent emergency protective order, in fact, obtained by Cloay Swope, 33, against her husband, 40, on Feb. 2 in Campbell District Court had been allowed to expire Feb. 12. One family friend said the two talked of getting back together, even after Mrs. Swope's domestic violence petition, which alleges that Charles Swope had threatened and stalked her at her Southgate apartment.
An incident of domestic violence takes place every nine seconds in America. In a lifetime, one in every four women will be assaulted.
It is estimated anywhere from 3.3 million to 10 million children witness domestic violence in their homes each year.