Shade Tree director: 'Victim shaming' benefits abusers

LAS VEGAS (KSNV - The leader of Shade Tree has fighting words for the suspect in a brutal beating in Las Vegas and his supporters who are using one victim's profession against her.

Executive Director Marlene Richter says it is appalling that people are rallying around former MMA fighter Jonathan Koppenhaver, who is accused of beating his former girlfriend, Christy Mack, and another man, sparking a multi-state manhunt.

"An abuser went to her home and inflicted violence what he says was his message," Richter said. "He used that training and tactics to cause more harm to her than somebody else would have."

The most recent photo of Mack shows a face still rebounding from the attack that left her sexually assaulted, her hair hacked off with a dull knife, and multiple internal injuries.

While Mack has done no television interviews about her experience, a supporter of Koppenhaver tells News 3: "She's an ex-porn star, pretty crazy girl. She probably acted out on him; he did it in self-defense." Fans of Koppenhaver also attack Mack regularly on twitter.

"Putting her profession or any standard - age, race, it's all irrelevant," Richter said. "Nobody ever has this coming."

Richter says victim shaming is real, bolstering abusers and discouraging women who may want to come forward.

"Every time we pass judgment on a victim, we are feeding what an abuser wants," Richter said.

Incidentally, Koppenhaver has also participated in porn movies. Yet, for some reason, nobody mentioned that or shamed him for that.
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