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Domestic Abuse and Mel Gibson46:02

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Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva (AP)
Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva (AP)

A shocking gusher of tapes out this week apparently showing actor Mel Gibson in full, wild tirade against the mother of his daughter, Oksana Gregorieva.

The tapes are stunningly profane, enraged, threatening, crude – unhinged. But domestic abuse say what’s most remarkable is simply that we’re hearing it.

A celebrity’s rage has gone blazingly public. Most abusive meltdowns never reach our ears. Just the news of women in shelters, frightened, grieving.

This hour On Point: patterns of domestic abuse, and what we can learn from the Gibson tapes.


Deborah Collins-Gousby, co-executive director of Casa Myrna, a shelter and supportive services provider to victims of domestic abuse. She co-wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe " The Edge of Darkness." Her organization runs the domestic violence hotline SafeLink.

Steven Stosny, clinical psychologist and expert in domestic violence. His focus has been on the abusers. He has treated over 6,000 court-ordered clients in public and private practice. Many of his clients have been well-known figures in the NFL, NBA --and Hollywood. He is an expert witness in murder trials involving family abuse. Author of "Love without Hurt." 


Here is a chart that lists the continuum of aggression, from the sort that arises in normal relationships to the most dangerous relationships. The list is compiled by Alyce LaViolette, who survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence.

This program aired on July 16, 2010.

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