Snapped!: What Drives Women to Domestic Violence?

(Photo: Kanawha County Sheriff)

Snapped!: What Drives Women to Domestic Violence?

Unbelievable real life stories of women who were pushed over the edge.

Published December 1, 2017

It’s shocking to see Naya Rivera in a mug shot after she allegedly assaulted her husband, fellow actor Ryan Dorsey. We hear the statistics about women being victims of domestic violence but there are men being abused and many who are afraid to speak up about it.

In Naya Rivera’s case, it’s possible that alcohol might have played a part in her attacking her husband while out on a walk with their two-year-old son. The couple had a rocky past, having broken up once before they were married and then announcing a divorce back in November of 2016. But it appeared that they were reconciling after Rivera withdrew the filing last month. However, after this violent outburst, who knows what the fate of their relationship will be.

Naya is not the only one who has been driven to violence. These four unbelievable real life stories of women who were pushed over the edge might shed light on the motives that drive a woman towards domestic assault.


    It had been five years since Berlinah Wallace, 48, began dating Mark van Dongen, 29, but things hit the rocks in August 2015 and van Dongen began seeing another woman. By September, however, the couple appeared to rekindle their romance, exchanging loving messages promising to try to make the relationship work again.

    Van Dongen sent Wallace a message saying, “I love you, I always have. I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done, we need to work on our relationship. You and me are meant to be. I’ve always known that. I will treat you as you deserve to be treated. You are my princess.”

    Wallace replied, “It means a lot hearing these words. You are the love of my life. God does not make a mistake in this. I love you with all my heart.” The couple planned to cook dinner together but, according to court records, that evening he went out to see his new girlfriend.

    Wallace and Van Dongen argued when he returned to Wallace’s apartment later that evening so she told him she would stay in a hotel that night. But apparently at 3 a.m., Wallace returned to the apartment and tossed a glass of acid over van Dongen, who was lying in bed. Van Dongen suffered severe burns over most his body, paralysis and ultimately returned to his home country of Belgium, where he ended his life through euthanasia.


    Brooklyn woman Alishia Noel-Murray, 29, wanted her husband dead. After she found out he was cheating on her with a prostitute, she attempted to murder him by poisoning his dinner in 2012.

    Her plan failed, so she brought in backup by hiring a hitman to shoot him three times while she hid upstairs with their 10-month old baby. She told the hitman that cashing in on her husband’s life insurance policies would bring her $900,000 and clear up her financial woes. Though she’s been sentenced to life in prison, Noel-Murray is still claiming innocence.


    A Wichita Falls, Texas, woman reportedly assaulted her husband with a baseball bat. Deborah Ray-Wright, 41, was charged with aggravated assault family violence after the police were called to the scene of an attack. The victim said his wife, Ray-Wright, sent him a text message asking him to get her some items from the store.

    When he arrived back at the residence, the husband said Ray-Wright picked up a baseball bat that was lying in the front yard, got in the back seat of his vehicle and began to hit him with it several times.

    Why? Well, because he had another woman in the passenger seat. Seems like a logical response after nine years of marriage. That’s probably why he decided not to press charges.


    Dawn Meikle, 55, was in bed with her husband when he began to pass gas. She asked him to stop but when the farting continued, things escalated. She allegedly began to elbow him, then that turned into kicking and violent scratching.

    Somehow in the end, she ended up with a bloody lip (which her husband claims he didn’t cause) and, for reasons unknown, she also pepper-sprayed the room. 

Based on these stories, the reasons can range from cheating to substance abuse and greed to plain old annoyance. But the fact remains that Black women make up 13 percent of the U.S. female population, but they represent half of homicide victims, most of whom die at the hands of someone they love.

It begins with a raised voice or a small push, but it can end in murder. Whether it’s the woman or man who is becoming violent, if you or someone you know is being abused, don’t wait — get help.

The domestic violence hotline is available 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233.

Written by Damona Hoffman

Damona Hoffman is a certified dating coach and TV personality (from #BlackLove and A Question of Love on FYI TV.) She gives weekly dating and relationship advice on The Dates & Mates radio show and podcast.

(Photo: Kanawha County Sheriff)


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