Chris Beard’s fiancée demonstrates why reporting abuse is so hard for women

Men benefit when women reverse course on damaging allegations

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Last week, a female rapper from Texas gained some solace when a jury found the man who shot her guilty after so many men — and women — didn’t believe her. Last week, the fiancée of the men’s head basketball coach at the University of Texas took back her claim that she was strangled after so many men — and women — were shocked by the allegations. This is the story of women in America.

Earlier this month, Randi Trew — Chris Beard’s fiancée — alleged that Beard bit and strangled her. “He just snapped on me and became super violent,” read the affidavit. “He choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.” Weeks later she was singing a different tune.

“Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends, and the University of Texas, among others. As Chris’ fiancée and biggest supporter, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize that my frustration, when breaking his glasses, initiated a physical struggle between Chris and myself,” she shared in the statement.

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“Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time,” she explained.

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No matter what this looks like from the outside, no one truly knows what happened inside that house besides God, Trew, and Beard. But what we do know is that when things like this happen it’s another crushing blow to women as they continue their fight to be heard and believed, because as we know, sports is a place where violence against women is a forgivable sin.

Beard is currently suspended without pay “until further notice” due to the incident that led to him being arrested on a felony family violence charge. The school is reviewing Trew’s statement and hasn’t decided on what to do next.

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For those that believed Trew from the beginning, everything about this feels wrong. And for those that thought she was lying, they feel vindicated — as if this is another example of a “woman trying to take down a ‘good man.” But in the end, women are the losers. Which is usually the case whenever doubt surrounds an allegation. A woman retracting her statement after a domestic incident isn’t new. But the idea that these women just keep lying about it is archaic.

According to KVUE ABC in Austin, the arrest affidavit that they obtained described Trew’s injuries as “a bite mark to her right forearm with visible teeth mark and redness, an abrasion to her right eyebrow and temple area, an abrasion on her left leg spanning from her knee to foot and a cut to her left thumb with dried blood.” The affidavit also included an “Assault Victims Statement (AVS)“ which listed scratches on her back, scratch mark to right eye, bite mark to right arm, abrasion and bruises to left leg, and cut to left hand as additional injuries to Trew.

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In 2016, The South Bend Tribune reported that “false reporting in domestic violence cases and rape cases is between 2 percent and 6 percent.” Stats and factual information be damned, I guess.

When a woman recants a story it doesn’t necessarily mean that she lied or that it didn’t happen. It means that she may have chosen the lesser of two evils, or is in fear of retaliation and how that could disrupt the family structure, or she has compassion for a man that she loves who might have their career/livelihood upended over one, or multiple, bad decision(s). Grace should be given when someone is faced with a potentially life-changing decision.

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Last week, Megan Thee Stallion exemplified why women should be believed when they make allegations. Last week, Randi Trew showed why women aren’t always believed when they make allegations. This was a story about women in America — and the men and women who don’t believe them.