The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Prince Georges County, Maryland:
A woman and her family make sure a horrible attack on her is not ignored

May 22, 2006

Yvette Cade was brutally attacked last fall in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Prince Georges County. Her estranged husband poured gasoline on her, then set her on fire. Cade survived, but she was critically burned over almost two-thirds of her body. She was in the hospital for three months. She has had 19 operations, and her doctors tell her she will need dozens more. Half of one of her ears and a patch of her hair is missing. Her hands are still covered with charred skin.

Cade recently appeared on the Oprah Winfey show where she described her ordeal. She has been able to get national publicity in part because the attack on her was so horrific. But even more importantly, Cade, her family and friends have seen to it that the violence against her has not been buried in some police crime statistics.

Most violence against women goes unreported because it’s so ordinary, and not just in an openly reactionary country like Saudi Arabia, but right here. At least one out of every three women in the U.S. is a victim of domestic violence at some time during her life. The number of reported attacks has been increasing ... up from 6,000 in all of 2004 to 7,500 so far this year in Prince Georges County alone.

Cade’s husband was recently tried and convicted of attempted murder for his attack on her. But most violence against women isn’t prosecuted, because it’s a reflection of a class society that treats marriage as a property relationship, and women as the property.