During her 23-year marriage, Margaret Randolph could have qualified as a poster woman for spousal abuse. Her husband Gary Randolph, a sometime dock worker, would get drunk and then "bring out his guns," Margaret says. He would shoot up the house as their three children, now ages 22, 15 and 13, dived for cover under the beds. According to Margaret, one night Gary shot her in the arm with a pistol. Afraid to report the incident to the police, she packed up the children a few months later and moved from their St. Louis home to Chatsworth, Georgia. But Gary hired...

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