Katie Couric's Notebook: Mel Gibson

It starts with an argument, then maybe a slap or a punch. A quarter of all women in the U.S. will experience at least one episode of partner violence in their lifetimes.

Oksana Grigorieva's alleged story is just one of millions, but because of a famous man and some infamous recordings, hers is on every blog and supermarket checkout line in America.

One headline on MTV called Mel Gibson's disturbing and disgusting rant "racist" and "sexist." They got it half right. His alleged attacks, both verbal and physical, were not just sexist...they were downright violent. The Justice Department reports women who are verbally abused by a partner are more likely to be raped, beaten or stalked by that partner.

The tabloids will trumpet every new detail...Mel gets dropped by his agent...Mel's career might be over.

I'd prefer to see this story give voice to millions of women enduring abuse and longing for a way out...who have no tape recorder to capture their fear.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.