The Jodi Arias case has captured the attention of the nation due to the graphic and violent evidence presented during the trial. Jodie Arias, 32, has been charged with first degree murder for killing her lover, Travis Alexander. Arias has admitted to shooting Alexander in the face, stabbing him 27 times and slitting his throat. Her attorney argued that she acted in self-defense and deserves the protections of the Battered Woman Syndrome.
As an on-air commentator, I spend most of my time speaking, yet, I know that real understanding comes from listening to the masses. I created a survey to better understand what the "silent majority" thinks about Jodi, Travis and the trial. HLN's gavel-to-gavel coverage has enabled many people to become intimately and passionately engaged in this trial and there needed to be a vehicle for their voices to be heard.
The survey was designed and distributed using the free, Google Drive platform. It was not commissioned by any third party. The questions focused on the respondent's familiarity with the trial, Jodi Arias, Travis Alexander, their relationship, domestic violence and the pending verdict. It was published via a three day Twitter and Facebook campaign; posting on www.TanyaYoungWilliams.com; and included in my last Huffington Post article.
My goal was to attract 1000 respondents to establish a credible level of confidence in the accuracy of the results. However, after one day of people sharing the links via social media and the Huffpost article, the numbers began to swell at a rate of 100 respondents per hour. The survey was available online for 3 ½ days and over 3500 people responded. The data is not scientific per se, but the results are nonetheless compelling and interesting.
At least 89% of survey respondents actually watch the trial, and 86% of respondents are very familiar with the facts of the case. The answers suggest that 95% of respondents believe that the killing was premeditated, yet, interestingly, 21% of respondents think that the killing was a "crime of passion". The 21% percent is telling because a "crime of passion" defense could have led to a voluntary manslaughter conviction which carries far less time than first degree or second degree murder.
Many who believe that Arias is a murderer nevertheless believe that Alexander was using Arias but not abusing her. 71% of respondents believe that Alexander was using Arias for sex and 49% believe that Arias was his "dirty little secret" as the defense attorney stated in her opening argument. Still, only 6% of respondents believe that Arias was the victim of domestic violence with Alexander as the perpetrator.
One of the most interesting statistics to me relates to domestic violence. As a survivor of domestic violence and a celebrity advocate against domestic violence, I often share the well published statistic that 25% of women have or will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. However, this survey supports the contention that the reported number is very low due to that fact that many victims fail to report the abuse to authorities or organizations that report their numbers for statistical purposes. This survey suggests that 43% of respondents have been a victim of domestic violence and 77% knows someone who has been a victim of domestic violence.
The complete survey results can be seen at: www.TanyaYoungWilliams.com
Follow Tanya Young Williams on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ImTanyaWilliams