CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - A Chattanooga man is not spending Valentine's Day with his girlfriend after police say he viciously beat her and threatened to stab her.
Landon McGahee, 26, is facing charges that include aggravated assault and kidnapping.
According to a police affidavit, McGahee not only punched, kicked and stomped his girlfriend, he also spat in her face, urinated on her and held the woman at knife point. It sounds unimaginable but domestic violence experts say they see it all the time.
"People who are violent do humiliating things. They do horrible physical, emotional and psychological abuse everyday to the people they supposedly love," said Regina McDevitt who is the crisis services director for Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.
According to law enforcement statistics:
- A woman is battered every 12 seconds in the U.S.
- Each year more than 4,000 women are killed by their significant other.
- Men commit 95% of all domestic assaults.
- Women are 75% more likely to be killed or injured when they try to get away from an abusive relationship.
"If you're getting ready to leave a situation and lets say your abuser is still in the house, that's not the safest time to if he's not currently abusing you. Sometimes the alternative is call 911 and get out,"McDevitt said.
Another alternative is fighting back, back but even that has it's limitations.
"Sometimes it's more difficult for a victim to fight back because many times they're re-victimized by the system," McDevitt said.
She was referring to a legal system that may not always believe a victim was acting in self defense.
Experts say it's a tough pill to swallow, especially when an abusive significant other says the words "I love you."
"They're going to love them to death. What that means is I love you and you have to do what I say because if you don't, then I'm going to harm you in some way," McDevitt said.
As of Friday afternoon, McGahee was still being held in the Hamilton County Jail.
His girlfriend reportedly refused medical treatment and is now staying with her father.