This isn’t over.
On Tuesday, a broken brute finally did something halfway good. Though it was laced with clueless rationalizations for his heinous murder of Jennifer Martel, Jared Remy’s guilty plea spared her loved ones more pain and brought his trial to a close.
The trials of domestic violence victims continue. They suffer mostly in the shadows, beaten and terrorized in their home, surrounded by neighbors who cannot or will not see what is happening mere feet away. The lucky ones find help and get out, crowding into emergency shelters or finding protection in counseling or court orders.
Numbers from a single day last fall show the size of the problem. In a census taken Sept. 17, Massachusetts domestic violence programs reported serving 2,234 victims. Of those, 902 adults and children took refuge in shelters and transitional housing. The rest got counseling and legal help. Overburdened programs turned another 343 people away that day. Emergency hotlines took 560 calls. And these are just the abuse victims who sought help.
Every so often, their unseen miseries burst into public view, carried forth by a case that is impossible to ignore. Martel’s murder was such a case. Remy’s celebrity (his father is Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy), the gruesomeness of his crime, the presence of their 4-year-old daughter during the murder — it all made powerful and ordinary people take notice.
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