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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JOANNA WEISS

Abuse victims shouldn’t lose hope

He tore his girlfriend’s clothes. That’s the detail that struck Jim Ptacek, a sociology professor at Suffolk University, when he read about Jared Remy’s history of domestic violence — a history that extended long before the alleged stabbing of Jennifer Martel this month.

A decade ago, in a different relationship, Remy was accused of kicking a woman, punching her, dragging her, and cutting her clothes. That last act, odd and intimate, turns out to be a common thread among abusers, a tactic many use to send a chilling message that escape is impossible.

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