A woman wearing a “Stop Domestic Violence” T-shirt found herself in an unbearably contradictory mugshot in Maine last week when she was arrested on domestic abuse charges, reported The Smoking Gun.
Emily Wilson, 38, was booked for brandishing and firing a handgun during a violent fight with her husband. While arguing over whether or not her spouse was having an affair, Wilson grew extremely agitated and allegedly shot several rounds into the bed she shared with her domestic partner, according to investigators.
As the the situation turned toward domestic abuse, the victim of the violence called local emergency services for his protection. After local officers arrived on the scene and took Wilson into custody, they charged her on several counts: domestic violence, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, and domestic violence assault. In her mugshot, she proudly displays the message at odds with her crime.
Wilson is a teacher at the local high school, but it has not been revealed whether or not she is still employed there following the domestic abuse incident. She will defend herself in court on June 6. She is currently out of jail after paying $200 bail.
The issue of violence at home first began to preoccupy Americans in the 19th century, with Tennessee becoming the first state to fully outlaw wife beating in 1850. Prior to that, however, the Massachusetts Bay colony also denied the right of husbands to inflict “bodilie correction or stripes” as early as the 1650s. By the 20th century, it became common for law enforcement to intervene. In some states, abuse is still not considered grounds for divorce.
While domestic violence has been illegal in most of the United States for over a century, that hasn’t stopped it from proving to be a pervasive problem across all communities and income levels. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates that more than 10 million men and women suffer abuse from an intimate partner every year — that’s about 20 people a minute, according to NCADV’s definition.
“[Domestic abuse is] willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse.”
A study released by Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in 2014 found that domestic violence severely affects both genders, with men suffering more from abuse like slapping and pushing, and women reporting higher rates of other forms like sexual assault. The overall rates were also relatively even: 31.5 percent of women reported experiencing some kind of intimate partner victimization in their life compared to 27.5 percent for men. In the 12 months before the survey was completed, 4.8 percent of men reported such conflicts compared to 4 percent of women.
While domestic abuse is horrific, even more shocking are the amount of crimes which end in homicide. In Wilson’s case, her spouse is lucky to still be alive, as the presence of a firearm increases the odds of violence turning into murder by 500 percent. In Maine itself, where this particular domestic abuse incident took place, nearly half of such incidents involve a firearm.
You can buy your own “Stop Domestic Violence” T-shirt like the one in the mugshot at Red Bubble, where all proceeds will go to charities dedicated to curbing abuse.
[Image via Maine State Police]