Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out In Hopes Others Will Too
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It’s been 7 months since a Sioux Falls woman says the man she loved strangled her multiple times. And according to police, she’s not his only victim. In the span of one month this year, 27-year-old DeMarcus Bethany was arrested twice on assault charges. The second reported victim say she’s ready to talk about what happened, anonymously, in hopes of helping others going through a similar situation.
“I didn’t ask for this to happen in my life,” says the victim we’re calling “Janet” to protect her identity.
Janet says at first, everything in her relationship was normal.
“He had the charm, he had the smile, he had the eyes, just everything a girl would like,” she says, then came some red flags.
“He came to me and said he had anger issues, but didn’t know how to deal with them,” she says.
Finally April 2nd, that’s the day DeMarcus Bethany was first arrested for reportedly strangling someone police say was his girlfriend, two times. He bonded out, but was arrested again on the 7th for allegedly raping the same woman in a hotel.
“He was telling me through the jail that she is lying and that she did this, and I didn’t know what to believe, to me I thought he was a good person at first,” says Janet.
On April 18, Janet says she was manipulated into bailing Bethany out of jail. Something she wishes she didn’t do.
“I texted my sister and I said I had made a mistake.”
The next day, Janet says Bethany started to become angry for no reason, eventually pulling her by the hair in her car, until she escaped to her downstairs bathroom. That’s where she says things got worse.
“He started strangling me for no reason,” she says. “He put his thumbs on my throat and lifted up.”
Janet says this went on for nearly 15 minutes.
“I was bawling saying please stop, please stop, I have kids,” she says. “He was telling me to shut up or he was going to kill me.”
This victim says it was her sister that called police after receiving the text. When police arrived, Janet didn’t tell them what happened at first, in fear of what Bethany would do.
“The cops knew something was wrong, they saw it in my face, but I couldn’t speak,” she explains. “I was so terrified; I was so terrified that he was going to kill me.”
It was her sister again, that convinced her to tell the cops what happened.
“What you feel in your heart for that person kind of overshadows everything, you don’t want to believe anything,” she says.
Janet hopes through sharing, others will be encouraged to do the same.
“We need to be brave and have the courage to speak up.”
And that includes the victim herself. Janet says right now, she has the courage to talk about what happened, but soon she’ll have the courage to show her face while doing so. Her goal is to help other domestic assault victims cope with what happened.
Bethany is currently in jail facing multiple assault charges. His jury trial is set for December 11th.
There are multiple places in the Sioux Empire for domestic violence victims to seek help at. That includes The Compass Center, Children’s Inn and the Helpline Center. Or anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.