February 4, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

Chris Beard’s fiancee says the UT basketball coach didn’t choke her

The image for the article titled Chris Beard's fiancee shows why it's so hard for women to report abuse

Image: Getty Images

Last week, a Texas rapper found some comfort 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 University of Texas men’s head basketball coach retracted 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 fiancee – claimed that Beard bit and strangled her. “He just hit on me and got super violent,” the affidavit reads. “He choked me, threw me out of bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, he threw me around and went insane.” Weeks later, she sang a different tune.

“Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have drawn negative attention to our family, friends and the University of Texas, among other things. As the fiancee and biggest supporter of Chris, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize my frustration at breaking his glasses sparked a physical fight between Chris and I,” she shared in the statement.

“Chris didn’t strangle me and that’s what I told law enforcement that night. Chris has stated that he acted in self-defense and I don’t dispute that. I don’t think Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intention to have him arrested or prosecuted. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers at this difficult time,” she said.

No matter what it looks like from the outside, nobody really knows what happened in this house except for God, Trew and Beard. But what we do know is that things like this are another crushing blow to women who continue their fight to be heard and believed because, as we know, sport is a place where violence against women is a forgivable sin.

Beard is currently suspended without pay “until further notice” over the incident that led to his being arrested on charges of domestic violence. The school is reviewing Trew’s statement and hasn’t decided what to do next.

It all feels wrong to those who believed Trew from the start. And for those who thought she was lying, they feel vindicated—as if this is yet another example of a “woman trying to bring down a ‘good man’.” But in the end, women are the losers. This is usually the case when there is doubt about a claim. A woman retracting her testimony after a domestic incident is not new. But the notion that these women just keep lying about it is archaic.

According to Austin-based KVUE ABC, the affidavit they received described Trew’s injuries as “a bite mark on her right forearm with visible tooth marks and redness, an abrasion on her right eyebrow and temple area, an abrasion on her left leg that spreads.” von extends her knee to her foot and a laceration on her left thumb with dried blood.” The affidavit also included an “Assault Victim Statement (AVS)” detailing scratches on her back, scratch marks on her right eye, bite marks on her right arm, abrasions and Bruises to the left leg and lacerations to the left hand were listed as Trew’s additional injuries.

In 2016, The South Bend Tribune reported that “misreporting in domestic violence and rape cases ranges from 2 to 6 percent.” Statistics and factual information be damned, I think.

When a woman retracts a story, it doesn’t necessarily mean she lied or that it didn’t happen. It means she may have chosen the lesser of two evils, or fear of retaliation and how that could disrupt the family structure, or she may have sympathy for a man she loves whose career/livelihood is being thrown upside down could become, or several, bad decision(s). Grace should be given when someone is faced with a potentially life-changing decision.

Last week, Megan Thee Stallion exemplified why women should be believed when they make allegations. Last week, Randi Trew revealed 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.