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Advocate raises men's awareness about domestic violence at Oklahoma City event

Retired Nashville police veteran Mark Wynn spoke at the YWCA of Oklahoma City’s Engaging Men Breakfast on Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
by Carla Hinton Published: August 14, 2014

A veteran police officer said he was just 7 years old when he conspired to commit murder.

Retired Nashville police Lt. Mark Wynn said he and his 12-year-old brother were afraid for their mother’s safety when they concocted and carried out a desperate plan to kill their abusive stepfather.

Instead, “a divine hand” foiled the brothers’ scheme, Wynn said Wednesday during the Engaging Men’s Breakfast in downtown Oklahoma City.

The breakfast, held at the Cox Convention Center, was hosted by the YWCA of Oklahoma City as a way to raise men’s awareness about the many ways domestic violence affects families and communities.

Domestic violence is a public safety issue, Janet Peery, chief executive officer of the YWCA, told a group of about 400 people who gathered for the event. She said 1 in 4 women in Oklahoma will be a victims of domestic violence, based on statistics.

“This is happening in all of our neighborhoods. This is happening to someone you know,” Peery said.

Wynn brought that message home with his emotionally charged story of growing up fearing for his mother’s life.

He said he was the youngest of five children and moved with his mother from Tennessee to West Texas after his parents’ marriage broke down and she met and married her second husband. He told the audience that his stepfather was cruel and abusive to his mother, beating her so badly that she suffered two miscarriages. At one point, the stepfather pushed her out of a moving car.

Wynn said he and one of his older brothers plotted to stab their mother’s abuser as he lay in a drunken stupor, but eventually decided to poison the man by pouring insecticide into his drink of choice.

Wynn said his stepfather drank the entire concoction as they waited for him to die — but he didn’t.

“For the grace of God and a strong mother, I made it out and spent my career in law enforcement instead of 25 years in prison,” he said Wednesday.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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