On Tuesday, Michael Jace, star of the hit show The Shield, was arrested and charged in the shooting death of his wife, April Jace.
The couple’s two children were in the home when April Jace was shot. They have since been handed over to a representative of California’s Department of Children and Family Services. Officials say the couple was discussing the family’s financial woes before the fatal shooting.
According to CNN, Jace had defaulted on the $411,000 mortgage on the south Los Angeles home where his wife died, according to the documents. His bankruptcy case is still active, according to his lawyer.
“At this moment, the motive of the murder is believed to be domestic violence,” a police statement said.
Sadly, it isn’t the first, nor the last time a celebrity has been or will be arrested for physically or verbally abusing their significant other. Even more disheartening, a shocking number of these abuse incidents often end in death.
The fatal shooting of April Jace is just one of many incidents of abuse splashed across headlines and tabloids in the past year — incidents that highlight the prevalence of domestic violence in Hollywood.
Almost two weeks ago, mega-producer and singer The-Dream was arrested for allegedly assaulting and strangling his ex-girlfriend while she was pregnant with their child. Photos of the physical abuse surfaced on TMZ shortly after his booking.
Scandal superstar Columbus Short was just recently in the news for threatening to murder his wife and kill himself. The incident, where Short held a knife to Tanee Short’s throat, led her to file a restraining order against the actor.
Following Short’s domestic dispute, Kings of Comedy star D.L. Hughley perpetuated victim shaming when he suggested that Tanee Short made up the abuse allegations:
“The star of one of the hottest dramas in the country, chokes the f*ck out of his wife? That doesn’t ever happen,” he says. “I don’t think it happened first off. Like the time Warren Sapp was getting ready to do the Super Bowl and some broad said that he raped her. There are just as many examples of women lying on men in the middle of divorce proceedings to get what they want, as there are men who actually do anything. My point is if he did what she’s alleging he did, she could still get all that she’s going to have and not bring it up now, when it damages his market value that she’s going to be impacted by. If he loses that job nobody’s living in Calabasas anymore.”
And in March, a disturbing video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice manhandling his unconscious girlfriend in an Atlantic City elevator surfaced. He was eventually charged with third-degree aggravated assault.
These domestic violence incidents aren’t exclusive to Hollywood. In fact, a comprehensive study shows that the U.S. as a whole is in the middle of the “global pack as far as the physical safety of women is concerned.” These domestic violence incidents aren’t an anomaly either — according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, three women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands each day.
These statistics mean recent Hollywood arrests shouldn’t be treated like they are situational occurrences. Stories sprinkled in tabloids of famous men allegedly assaulting women aren’t what’s surprising. But these statistics, and the ones below, should serve as a wake up call to the harsh reality that domestic violence, worldwide, is an epidemic that isn’t getting any better.
– Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the U.S. (a similar study found that 24 people experience intimate partner violence per minute).
– Adolescents are becoming victims of domestic violence at an alarming rate. A national survey showed that 9.4 percent of high school students reported being hit or physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
– 1 in 3 women in the world will experience domestic violence at a point in their life.
– Only 1 in 4 of those women report the abuse.
– According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there were about 142 intimate partner violence-related homicides in the workplace over those six years.
– Annually, there are 18,700 workplace violence incidents in the U.S. as a result of intimate partner assaults.
– According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the chances of a woman dying if a gun is present in the home is 270 percent.
– Additionally, the number of women killed by spouses (and were shot by guns kept in the home) is 2 in 3.
– Between 30 and 47 percent of women have been strangled by their spouse in the past year.
– Men also experience domestic violence — 5.3 percent are killed by an intimate partner per year.
– More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes annually.
– According to Callie Marie Rennison and Sarah Welchans, U.S. Dep’t of Just., African Americans, especially African American women, suffer deadly violence from family members at rates decidedly higher than for other racial groups in the United States.
– The number one cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. is domestic homicide.
– More than 60 percent of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
For more information on domestic violence and what you can do to prevent it, visit the CDC Violence Prevention Website, here.
For additional (and informative) facts about domestic abuse worldwide, click here.
SOURCE: CDC, HuffPost, Safe Horizon, CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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