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article imageDomestic Violence Victim Saved By Martial Arts Student In Front Yard

By Nikki Weingartner     May 8, 2008 in Lifestyle
National statistics report that one in three women will suffer abuse at the hands of a loved one in their lifetime so when a hero like Tom Holbein comes to the rescue, one can bet that the cheering squad is less than silent.
In the coastal Texas town of Corpus Christi, domestic violence isn't a foreign topic where a beautiful young woman was killed by her husband just over a year ago after she had tried to escape his violent hand.
Last week, a hero named Tom Holbein who had just returned from his martial arts class helped save a victim from potential death at the beating hands of her own husband.
Holbein says he saw a strange man in his front yard on top of a woman pounding her with his fists and in reflex moves, he pushed palm struck the guy from the victim. When the abuser got up and acted as if he were going to come at the good samaritan, Holbein executed a well-placed roundhouse kick to the face then proceeded with a learned martial arts self-defense maneuver that helped restrain the wife-beater until police arrive.
The abuser, John Michael Lea, Junior, apparently has a repeat history of the abuse. He had beaten up his wife just last week but because she did not come forward and press charges, Lea was released back on the streets to repeat his pattern again.
Despite his violation of a temporary restraining order, Lea's violent actions are not at all uncommon for an abuser in a domestic violence situation and had it not been for Tom, the courageous neighbour and his timely intervention, this woman might not be alive today.
As for Holbein, he believed he did what anyone would do and is not a hero.
Common warning signs that one is in an abusive relationship include things such as if one's partner bites, slaps, pushes, shoves, punches holes in the wall, prevents one from seeking medical assistance or alters the story so that no one gets into "trouble",, lies about the event to make the victim out to be the one who caused the injury or prevents the involvement of law enforcement.
[UPDATE] Wednesday, May 7, 2008, charges against John Michael Lea, Junior was released from jail because the victim wouldn't come forward. He violated the TRO again, intentionally crashed the car into a sand dune and set it on fire. Luckily, his wife escaped.
Lea is in jail again for assault and violating the TRO but the victim has still not come forward so he will likely be released again.
Domestic violence situations like this are all too common, where abusers start out the relationships with psychological abuse, sometimes over the course of years. It escalates to physical violence as the victim becomes depressed and her self-esteem diminishes.
In many cases, it is more dangerous for the victims to leave, which is often why they are afraid to come forward and report the abuse. The abuser is ofter released only to return and escalate the violence, sometimes against the children.
For further help and anonymous assistance, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. It is manned 24 hours a day.
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