SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Experts say a stunning case of alleged abuse involving a “sex dungeon” in Scottsdale highlights a trend in domestic violence cases: most victims of domestic violence recant.
Police say Jason Monroe Smith was arrested for holding his girlfriend against her will and allegedly "brutalizing" her in a sex dungeon in his home.
After conducting interviews with police, which prompted Smith's arrest, the alleged victim told Arizona’s Family police got it wrong.
She claimed Smith never kept her against her will or harmed her without permission.
“Everything got blown out of proportion," she said. "It wasn't fun but I consented to it when I got here."
Court documents show Smith met the woman on a website called Secretbenefits.com and the woman signed a contract agreeing to a BDSM lifestyle Smith advertised as “50 Shades of Grey, with a twist.”
But police say in interviews, the woman told investigators Smith ignored her safe word and brutalized her with a bull whip and shock collar to the point where she would “urinate herself from the pain.”
In one case she suffered “an epileptic episode which she is prone to.” In another, she suffered a broken wrist while restrained.
Police say they have an audio recording of the woman screaming to be released.
The woman told Arizona’s Family she broke her own wrist.
“We were doing our thing. I tugged. And I broke my own wrist and he wasn't even near me when it broke,” she said.
Recanting is reportedly common in domestic violence cases. By some estimates, 70 percent of domestic violence victims recant.
Researchers have studied the reasons why by listening in on jailhouse phone calls between abusers and victims.
Often the perpetrator plays on the victim’s emotions, minimizes the abuse or threatens the victim with additional violence, said Jessica Nicely of Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation.
“The majority of what happens in domestic violence relationships is about control,” she said. “They isolate you from your friends and family so you don't feel like you have anywhere to go.”
Nicely said perpetrators frequently exert financial control over their victims.
In the Scottsdale case, police say the woman’s BDSM contract specified she was not allowed to have a job or money. She was also unable to use electronic devices without Smith’s permission.
There are many groups and organizations in Arizona that can assist victims and survivors of domestic or sexual violence. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.