20 year old Master Dobson showed up in the hospital emergency room with his 18 year old girlfriend on Sunday. The girlfriend had second and 3 rd degree burns. The hospital personnel called police to request an investigation on a possible assault.
Allegedly the two had been arguing earlier. And allegedly Dobson dumped rubbing alcohol on the girlfriend, then began lighting matches and tossing them at his girlfriend. The rubbing alcohol and her clothing caught fire causing the burns.
Dobson however has told police a different story. He has reportedly said that he had accidently cut his girlfriend and used rubbing alcohol to clean out the wound. And that he was just playing with the matches when her clothing caught fire.
Dobson was charged with assault. Dobson does have a criminal history. Reportedly he has had 9 prior arrests and was currently on probation. And one of the arrests was for domestic assault and 2 arrests for allegedly violating protection orders. There is no mention of who the victim or victims were in those incidents.
Dobson was in court for an arraignment on Monday. Allegedly he showed up wearing the girlfriend’s name across his chest.
The girlfriend was admitted to the hospital burn unit and was reported to be in good condition.
What an incredibly ‘romantic’ (insert sarcasm) gesture to show up in court with the girlfriend’s name on his chest. And no doubt at some point (after telling everyone that it was an accident) he will express his ‘sincere’ apology for what happened, promise that it will never happen again, and possibly make other ‘romantic’ gestures. And if it follows the usual patterns, he will likely add in some phrase like, “if only you hadn’t” or “you made me” or some other similiar phrase, while at the same time- in private or only in select company- taking full responsibility for what happened.
And this will likely keep up, until the girlfriend accepts the apology. Then things will be like they used to- until the next time. Statistics say that abuse doesn’t just end.
I hope the girl will take some things into consideration. First, he seems unwilling to take public responsibility for what happened. Second, at only 20 years of age, he already has an established history of domestic violence. And third, ‘romantic’ gestures only last for a short while- but domestic abuse lasts as long as the relationship, and leaves emotional scars that will remain even if the relationship ends. Scars that can be just as damaging as any physical scars she may have. Fourth, instead of increased love and loyalty, abusers often develop a type of contempt for their victims. After all, they know they wouldn’t stay after that type of treatment, and yet their victim did. And they also learn that no matter what they do, their victim will remain. She is 18 years old. Is that the type of life she wants to be living in 5 years or 10 years?
And if the girlfriend ever makes it to this blog, I hope she will spend some time looking back through previous posts here, as well as doing a little research on domestic violence before she ever gives any consideration to accepting any apology. Whatever her decision on the relationship, I do wish her a happy and peaceful life.
Dobson already has a reported history of criminal charges for violating protection orders, and the incident described shows a real risk of physical harm. If he gets out of jail for bond or whatever, it would be especially important that she be in a place of safety and a domestic violence shelter would be the place most likely to provide that safe place. It doesn’t seem fair that she should be the one to have to rearrange her life, because of him…. but the goal is to survive without further harm. And she is the one who is in need of that safe place.
Initially the victim told hospital personnel that it was an accident. But after some questioning, detectives felt they had enough to charge Dobson with a crime.
It is alleged that Dobson first threw a liquid that the girlfriend thought was rubbing alcohol on the her. He then began lighting matches and throwing them at her. When the first match didn’t catch her on fire, he lit some more. After she caught fire, the boyfriend and his mother helped her put the flames out.