BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, RARELY SEEN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- A HUSBAND�S
VERBAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE OF HIS WIFE DOCUMENTED ON TAPE --
DIANE SAWYER REPORTS ON ABC NEWS� �20/20,� FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27
Plus: Ferocious Wild Animals Living in Your Neighbor�s Backyard: Jay Schadler Reports
On the Dangers of Close Encounter Sessions and Photo Shoots
A wife enduring the terror of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband is rarely seen � except when a husband documents the terror. Such is the story of Susan who, three years ago at the age of 42, was the target of her husband Ulner�s unimaginable cruelty. Ulner ordered their 13-year-old son to videotape his verbal and physical tirades, resulting in a gritty 51-minute tape capturing glimpses of what is so seldom seen, and so hard to believe � domestic abuse behind closed doors. Now, Susan, the mother of three, talks to Diane Sawyer for the first time about why she stayed in the abusive relationship, how she blamed herself, how she finally broke free, her relationship with her kids today and what she is doing now to help other women. The exclusive report, which includes footage from the tape, airs on �20/20,� FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
�I still hear his voice in the back of my mind. All the time,� Susan tells Sawyer. �My children will absolutely have to deal with and remember and hear in the back of their minds what happened in our home. Those visual pictures will never go away for them.�
The case resulted in a dramatic courtroom drama and a groundbreaking domestic violence sentence in the state of New York. �I had never seen anything like it. I had never seen the intensity of the psychological abuse and the escalation into the bursts of physical violence was shocking,� says Lisa Rodwin, the prosecutor on the case. What makes this story so incredible is that the abuse was caught on tape. However Susan�s situation is not unusual; experts say that nearly one in four women will experience domestic violence in her life.
And: Lions and tigers and bears, oh my� the most ferocious animals in the wild might be living in your neighbor�s backyard and, as Jay Schadler reports, they could be the star attractions in potentially deadly businesses. Some backyard entrepreneurs are setting up their own facilities where members of the public, sometimes paying hundreds of dollars, can have close encounters with dangerous animals. But just how safe are these businesses that sometimes call themselves animal �sanctuaries,� wildlife parks or even conservation associations?
According to Michelle Thew of the Animal Protection Institute, there are more tigers � up to 10,000 � in private hands in the United States than there are in the wild in India. Once-endangered animals are being bred by the thousands, and in some cases lions and tigers and other wild animals end up in places that experts say could make them potentially lethal to the public. For11 months, ABC News has been investigating such backyard businesses that charge $200 to brush a tiger's extremely lethal teeth or $495 to let a 600-pound grizzly bear pluck a marshmallow from your lips. �20/20� also goes undercover to a conservation association that is operating without an exhibitor's license. What will happen when we confront the owner?
�20/20� is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is executive producer.