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Domestic Violence Expert Reacts To Cook’s Acquittal

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s fear among domestic violence experts that Chris Cook’s acquittal could cause some victims to not come forward.

Carol Arthur is the executive director of the Domestic Abuse Project and she says Cook’s acquittal could deter victims of domestic violence from coming forward.

“These were really serious charges and he got off because — well, I can’t make this judgment — but it may appear he got off because of his status,” Arthur said.

Arthur says there are some lessons to be learned about domestic violence from this high-profile case. For example, the victim in this case, recanted her story, which is common. She says the case shows that police are trained to investigate the crime, whether or not the victim has changed her story.

Arthur said her first reaction to the verdict was disappointment.

“Extremely disappointed, I guess, would be the first reaction I would have on one hand,” she said. “On the other hand, [I felt] proud of our judicial system that they went forward with such a high profile case, which in the past would have been swept under the rug. Nothing would have ever happened.”

Arthur says the strangulation issue was also important. She pointed to the media, saying they complicated the case by calling strangulation choking. According to Arthur, strangulation is a much more serious matter.

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