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Domestic Violence
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Talli



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Post Domestic Violence Reply with quote
Watch the clip, then read the story.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2608738&page=1


Abuse Behind Closed Doors
Father Forces Child to Videotape His Domestic Abuse on Wife
By KRISTIN PISARCIK
Oct. 26, 2006 - In a tree-lined neighborhood in upstate New York, Susan, 46, a mother of three, never imagined her life would spin out of control.

But she found herself in a marriage that escalated from controlling to violent -- as she says she became a victim of domestic violence.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence occur each year in the United States.

But Susan's case is unique because her abuse was documented in a disturbing 51-minute home videotape.

Three years ago, Susan's husband ordered their 13-year-old son to videotape his mother being verbally and physically assaulted.

The chilling tape took a look behind closed doors into the brutal reality of domestic violence.


Susan told her story for the first time to ABC News' Diane Sawyer.


Watch this "20/20" exclusive tonight at 10.




Beginning of the Abuse


Susan was just 18 when she first met and fell in love with Ulner, a 26-year-old man she saw on stage.

Ulner was a bass guitarist in a popular local band, while Susan had just finished her first year of college.

They started dating immediately. Eventually, they got married and started a family, with Susan working at a health-insurance company.


At first, Ulner was just controlling, not so different from her own father. The more she complied, the more he demanded.


"The controlling was absolutely there from the beginning. Without me recognizing it," Susan said.


The physical abuse started more than 10 years into the marriage, when, according to Susan, she forgot an item at a nearby grocery store.


"He hurt me," Susan said. "He hurt me badly. I just couldn't believe it. It's like you're almost outside your body watching and saying, 'This can't be happening.'"


Susan said that Ulner cut her off from her father and her family for many years, leaving her isolated with no one to talk to, and completely under his control.



Susan Goes Back to Work


In 2002, the family started struggling financially, and Susan returned to work at a new job.

The only escape she had from her controlling and abusive home life was her new friend and boss, Lynne Jasper.


Jasper and Susan were friends and working mothers who bonded by sharing stories about their kids.


"I would have thought it was a rock-solid marriage," Jasper said.


Shortly thereafter, Jasper overheard several phone calls between Susan and Ulner, and said she was horrified to hear Susan refer to him as "master."


"'Yes, master. No, master.' You hear it the first couple of times, you think, 'Wow, what a sick individual,'" Jasper said. "After you got to hear the conversations and know her [Susan], [you learned] that her dedication wasn't out of love and friendship, it was more out of fear and control."


Jasper knew something was wrong and started collecting clues -- even taking notes in her datebook, recording behavioral changes and visible physical injuries, marks and bruises on Susan.


On May 6, 2003, she wrote, "Talk to Susan re: head" because of a visible wound on Susan's head.


Jasper asked Susan about her mark, and Susan said she had gotten the lump from a box she was pulling down in a closet, saying that it had hit her in the eye.

Jasper let it go for the moment, but still had her concerns.


The physical violence intensified between Susan and Ulner.


"As markings on the calendar got closer and closer together and more frequent, then it just became clearer that I wasn't necessarily making a mountain out of a molehill," Jasper said.



Susan Confronted


On May 23, 2003, Jasper noted "Bruise/Susan" in her datebook.

Susan arrived to work an hour late with makeup piled on, attempting to cover her bruises.

Jasper immediately noticed a large bruise on Susan's face from a beating.


Jasper decided to finally confront Susan, saying, "'I think there's something you want to tell me, and I need you to know that it's OK to do that.' And she did. She just started to cry, and we had gone into a room privately, and I closed the blinds. She told me a lot of what was going on. But you know what? [It was] not even close to the whole story, not even close to how bad it was."


Later, Jasper found a letter in her desk drawer from Susan -- a final warning and a farewell in case anything happened.


"If anything should happen to me or if I should turn up missing, it is possible my husband was involved," the letter said. "I love you so much, my children. Please forgive me for the things you have seen in your young life. Know you were loved by your mother."


Jasper was so upset by this letter -- a mother bidding farewell to her children -- that she alerted local police.


Susan was falling apart, saying, "He had literally, physically and mentally beat me down to nothing. I thought I was not as good as a piece of dirt on his shoe."



The Breaking Point


A month later, Susan hit her breaking point.

It was the day Ulner instructed their 13-year-old son to videotape the verbal and physical assault upon her.

The horrifying tape lasts 51 minutes as the rants get louder and more violent.


"You don't even look at me with that stupid look on your face. Don't you get tired of that [expletive]," Ulner yells.


"Zoom in on that heifer," Ulner directs his son. "Zoom in. Do you see a tear?"


He continues to yell, "You don't know what to do. Look at your stupid [expletive]. Look at the way you look!"


Ulner makes his son videotape what he considers to be his justifiable anger at his wife, and at the end of the tape -- after what seems like endless verbal abuse -- Ulner slaps, beats and strangles his wife with their younger children as witnesses.


Later that night, Ulner played the tape for his family as an instructional video to teach his wife and children a lesson about the flaws of their mother.


"The whole family had to sit and watch that night," said Lisa Bloch Rodwin, an assistant district attorney for Erie County, N.Y. "And then dad would stop it, pause it, and say, 'Do you see what she did wrong? Do you see how she made me do this to her?'"


Susan now knew she had to get her children and herself away from Ulner.


The next day, Susan planned her escape at work.



The Escape


"When Susan walked in the next day, she was beaten and marked worse than I have ever seen," Jasper said. "I remember saying to her, 'It's gotta stop. Today's the day.'"

Susan replied, "Today's the day."


With the help of the Amherst, N.Y., police, Susan and her two sons escaped and entered a shelter.


Susan's oldest daughter chose to return home to her father.


Susan headed to court to face Ulner.

Rodwin, who also was chief of the Prosecutor's Office's Domestic Violence Bureau, gathered the evidence.


The video proved a single incident of violence, and Jasper's calendar became an important piece of physical evidence for the prosecution's case.

Armed with Susan and her sons' testimony, the calendar, the videotape, and Jasper's testimony, the prosecution charged Ulner with 12 separate assaults against his wife.


Ulner was found guilty on all counts, and the judge handed down a sentence of 36 years, which, to Rodwin's knowledge, is the longest in New York history for a domestic-violence case in which the victim wasn't killed.


Today, three years later, Susan is moving on with her life, living with her two sons.


"My children will absolutely have to deal and remember and hear in the back of their minds what happened in our home," she said. "Those visual pictures will never go away for them."


Susan and Jasper, her former boss, remain close friends.


Susan continues to spread domestic-violence awareness, and uses her abuse video at police academies as a tool to put a personal face on this epidemic.

Just this last week, Susan spoke at a National Domestic Violence Conference in Houston, and received a standing ovation.


If you or someone you know is involved in a domestic violence relationship, or if you want to learn more about it, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24-hours a day, at 1-800-799-SAFE or click here

Copyright 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:40 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
If you know someone struggling with this....pass it along and even if you don't...still pass it. You don't know who's life you may be saving.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:50 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
Omega Phoenix



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Post Reply with quote
I didn't see the clip, but that story... it was truly heartbreaking.

The husband got 36 years? That's not NEARLY enough time for his monstrosities... making his children videotape and watch their mom being abused? That is too heinous for words.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:50 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Omega Phoenix Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
SmartCoCoX



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Post Reply with quote
Where's the daughter?

She's been indoctrinated with that bullshit. I wonder what's going on in her head?
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:51 pm View user's profile Find all posts by SmartCoCoX Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
PM....my sister sent me the clip this morning. I had to get up from my desk and close my office door because the clip overwhelmed me so much I began to cry. I cannot even begin to express the emotions I felt sitting here...anger, rage, disbelief, sorrow...he deserves every minute that he gets locked up because the emotional torture he inflicted upon his children is just as great as the physical torture he inflicted on his wife.

I was just overwhelmed for so many reasons, including personal reasons, just really seeing it on tape was just .....words fail me.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:53 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
QTPie



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Post Reply with quote
My coworker was telling me about this a few weeks ago.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:53 pm View user's profile Find all posts by QTPie Send private message
NEAquarius



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Post Reply with quote
i saw it when they aired it on 20/20 a couple weeks ago. It was surreal and he was unrepentant.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:59 pm View user's profile Find all posts by NEAquarius Send private message
Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam



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Post Reply with quote
[quote]Susan's oldest daughter chose to return home to her father. [/quote]

that's deep.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:01 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
[quote="AzBrotha"][quote]Susan's oldest daughter chose to return home to her father. [/quote]

that's deep.[/quote]

Girls and their daddies. It's a very complex relationship. Confused
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:04 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
bb74



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Post Reply with quote
I'm looking at the longer clips now. Wow.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:06 pm View user's profile Find all posts by bb74 Send private message
QTPie



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Post Reply with quote
Is her daughter's father this same man? Because in the end (since Ulner is in prison) they say that Susan now lives with her boys. I am assuming her dad is a different dude unless this is just poorly written.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:06 pm View user's profile Find all posts by QTPie Send private message
NEAquarius



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Post Reply with quote
no the guy is father to all the kids.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:07 pm View user's profile Find all posts by NEAquarius Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
[quote="bb74"]I'm looking at the longer clips now. Wow.[/quote]

Berry, post the link to the longer one.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:10 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
bb74



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[quote="QTPie"]Is her daughter's father this same man? Because in the end (since Ulner is in prison) they say that Susan now lives with her boys. I am assuming her dad is a different dude unless this is just poorly written.[/quote]

Her daughter is grown now - in her 20s.

Those kids are fucked. Hope they're going to counseling or getting some kind of help.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:11 pm View user's profile Find all posts by bb74 Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
And KUDOS to her boss for documenting her observations and being brave enough to say "tell me/trust me."
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:11 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam



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Post Reply with quote
[quote="Talli"][quote="AzBrotha"][quote]Susan's oldest daughter chose to return home to her father. [/quote]

that's deep.[/quote]

Girls and their daddies. It's a very complex relationship. Confused[/quote]

i guess...but she saw mommy stick around all of those years...kids are like blank computers...they only process what is put into them...when this kid sees her mom being treated like a dog by her dad...unlike the other kids, she takes in the situation different enough to feel like her dad is worthy of still being there for...
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:12 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam Send private message
juju



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Post Reply with quote
is this the tape of the light skinned lady and her son videotaped the abuse? if so i saw this on 20/20 about two weeks ago. the daughter is upset with the mother and she wanted to stay with her father. the mother said the daughter is still somewhat angry with her but she's starting to come around.

the cops said if the lady's co-worker hadn't documented the abuse, dude would have gotten maybe a simple assault charge and not spent much time if any in jail. yes even with the video.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:16 pm View user's profile Find all posts by juju Send private message
Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam



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Post Reply with quote
[quote="Talli"]And KUDOS to her boss for documenting her observations and being brave enough to say "tell me/trust me."[/quote]

not a lot of people would have done that...i remember teachers who KNEW that some kids were being beaten or abused...hell, this one girl, I will never forget her...was being raped constantly by her brother and father...it was so out in the open that the other kids teased her about it, yet, no grown up teacher or principal did a thing, even when other parents came to complain about what they heard about that girl...we would see her and her brother in sunday school and she would be practically under him....sick. I really felt bad for her...i still do.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:16 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Queen's Baby Daddy Of Zam Send private message
bb74



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The logic of her not leaving because she wanted to "preserve her family..." There's some shit I'm just not meant to understand. Confused
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:17 pm View user's profile Find all posts by bb74 Send private message
Talli



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Post Reply with quote
It's especially conflicting if the dad treats you with kindness versus hostility like the mother.

I've experienced it first hand with my own father. You see your dad as your protector and you love him, it's very difficult to explain. You know what he does to your mom is wrong and you understand that but you can't break the father/daughter relationship because you don't want him to reject you, too.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:17 pm View user's profile Find all posts by Talli Send private message
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