If 2011 Playmate of the Year Clair Sinclair had lived in New Hampshire this story might have ended very differently.
Earlier this week Sinclair called the police against her boyfriend Marston Hefner, son of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, after he allegedly punched and kicked the 20-year-old in their Pasadena home. After determining that she had indeed suffered injuries consistent with an assault, Hefner was arrested and then released after posting $20,000 bail.
According to Sinclair this is not the first incident of abuse. Nevertheless, she says she will drop charges against Hefner if he makes a public apology.
“All I want is for Marston to give a public apology,” says Sinclair. “I want him to admit he hit me more than once.”
Under California law, however, the state can still bring a domestic abuse case against Hefner without Sinclair’s support. In the meantime, Sinclair has moved out of the couple’s apartment and gotten a temporary restraining order against Hefner.
Is asking for a public apology really the only consequence Hefner should have to face as a serial domestic abuser?
I certainly don’t think so.
While I think it is incredibly brave for Sinclair to share her story with the world, she can certainly do much more to advocate for herself and other domestic abuse victims. As someone in the limelight she has a platform to raise awareness about a problem that affects about one in every four women in the United States.
What about New Hampshire?
In learning about this incident I couldn’t help but think of a previous post I wrote about a pending law in New Hampshire that would require police to witness violence before making an arrest in domestic abuse cases. If this law passes, women like Sinclair would be unable to get the help they need when they call police after a partner has abused them.
If Sinclair had been in New Hampshire instead of California when she called to report the domestic abuse incident, police would have been unable to arrest Hefner as they had not witnessed the attack themselves thus leaving her alone with her abuser – a man who had hit her in the past.
How many other examples of domestic violence do we need to prove to the New Hampshire legislature that this law idea will put countless women’s lives at risk?
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Photo credit: Prashanthns, via wikimedia commons