Battered Husbands Often Afraid to Admit Abuse

ByABC News
February 6, 2003, 5:06 PM

Feb. 7 -- Tawny Kitaen and Chuck Finley's marriage was a sizzling example of beauty meets brawn in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition four years ago. She was all legs and curves, with a mane of sleek, sexy hair. He was an all-star baseball pitcher for the California Angels and then the Cleveland Indians.

But their high-flying marriage suffered a scandalous breakdown. There were allegations of domestic violence and acts of brutality with a bizarre twist. Though Finley is a strapping 6-foot-6-inch-tall pro athlete and Kitaen is just 5 feet 7 inches tall, she was arrested for beating him.

Last April, Kitaen was charged with spousal abuse after a nasty fight in the couple's car. She allegedly kicked him in the arm and leg and twisted his ear. At one point, she allegedly pressed her high-heeled shoe on his foot as it was on the accelerator.

Kitaen initially entered a not guilty plea, but agreed to 52 weeks of anger management in an effort to get the charges dropped. Finley has filed for divorce.

An Equal-Opportunity Crime

The couple's story left many wondering: How could a woman batter a man? It happens more often than you think.

Although women are most often the victims of domestic violence, surprisingly, men are battered by their partners more than 800,000 times a year, according to surveys cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I would do anything sock 'em, put my hands around their neck, choke 'em," said Angela Corey, a serial abuser.

Meeting Corey today, she comes across as a bubbly, wholesome Sacramento housewife. "I'm adored by so many people. People think I'm the greatest thing in the world," she said.

It's hard to imagine, but she said she was once downright vicious, battering 15 different boyfriends. She's telling her story now to help dispel some of the common myths about women and violence.

The conventional wisdom is that women who are involved in domestic violence are acting in self-defense. Corey says that's not always the case.