In most violent crimes where someone harms another, people will usually side with the victim.
But in some instances, the morality of a crime is questionable – and the victim harder to identify.
This is how many feel about Lorena Bobbitt after she chopped off her husband's penis and threw it from a car window in a cunning revenge plot following years of being trapped in an abusive relationship.
According to the New York Times, Lorena is very matter-of-fact about the whole thing.
On the night of June 23, 1993, Lorena carried out the attack as he slept before driving away from their apartment and throwing the severed organ into a field in Manassas, Virginia.
But how did their relationship get to such a savage breaking point?
Their story starts five years before in 1988 when Lorena met John, then a U.S. Marine, at a club for enlisted men.
She once told Vanity Fair: "I thought John was very handsome. Blue eyes. A man in a uniform, you know? He was almost like a symbol – a Marine, fighting for the country. I believed in this beautiful country. I was swept off my feet. I wanted my American Dream."
John became Lorena's first boyfriend before they later married on June 18, 1989, when Lorena was 20, and John was 22.
A few weeks after the 1989 wedding, John allegedly became violent towards her after he hit her when she voiced disapproval of his dangerous driving when they were returning home from a bar.
The violence then became a regular occurrence with John not only striking but raping her too.
According to Lorena, John forced her to get an abortion when she became pregnant and taunted her about how the procedure would kill her while she was in the clinic.
Police were called to the Bobbitts' home on multiple occasions. In February 1991 John pleaded guilty to assault and battery, though the charges were dismissed after he went through counselling, according to biography.com.
John has since denied he was abusive during the marriage as he claims Lorena was extremely jealous and the one who hit him; and that he acted in self-defence. His attorney added that terminating Lorena's pregnancy was a mutual decision.
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Lorena has stated that she was a victim of domestic violence throughout her marriage and that her husband had raped her shortly before she castrated him.
According to Lorena, in the early hours of June 23, 1993, her husband came home drunk before attacking her.
After the attack, she took a knife from the kitchen cut off her sleeping husband's penis.
Lorena, still holding the knife and the severed organ, then drove away from their apartment building, tossed the penis into a field before going to a friend's house where she contacted the police.
Police located it and reattachment surgery was a success.
Lorena had a rape kit examination in the same hospital.
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In November 1993, John went on trial for marital sexual assault but was found not guilty.
In January 1994, Lorena's trial began.
Lorena testified that her husband had raped and hit her throughout their marriage and her defense team argued that she had been tormented by years of abuse and driven temporarily insane.
During Lorena's trial, John testified that he had never committed any acts of violence against his wife. However, other witnesses corroborated that Lorena had appeared with bruises and stated that John had been seen hitting and shoving his wife.
Friends of John's said under oath that they had heard him express a liking for "forced sex".
Domestic Abuse – Where to get help?
Abuse is a crime and it is never your fault.
You don’t have to deal with this alone. Call the freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline at any time on 0808 2000 247.
On January 21, 1994, Lorena was found not guilty due to temporary insanity, meaning she did not have to spend time in prison for wounding John.
Following the acquittal, she was sent to a hospital for a 45-day psychiatric evaluation, as required by Virginia state law, after which she was released.
After her actions became public, the media swept in to cover everything from John's successful penis reattachment surgery to Lorena's trial in 1994.
She has resumed the use of her maiden name of Lorena Gallo and become an advocate for victims of domestic violence.
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Years later, Lorena took part in Lorena, a 2019 documentary that was produced by Jordan Peele. Lorena also served as an executive producer and narrator for the 2020 Lifetime biopic I Was Lorena Bobbitt which is available to watch on Amazon video.
Women all over Facebook and Twitter have recently become obsessed with this case as articles have resurfaced on the platform as they have flocked in to show their support for Lorena.
One said: "Even before I was a domestic abuse victim I was a huge fan and supporter of Lorena Bobbit."
"The more I listen to men the more I relate to Lorena Bobbit," another added.
A fourth said: "I think about Lorena Bobbit’s case every day. Icon."
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