"Telling Amy's Story" on AETN last night
Posted on 29 Oct 2010
"Telling Amy's Story", a moving, true reflection on Amy's life and death was brought to Arkansas last night care of AETN, along with a one hour, live, call-in crisis hotline. Staffed by domestic violence advocates, law enforcement, detectives, victims and others, Studio A was transformed into a place for victims - and friends and families of victims - across our state to come for help. And from the looks on the faces of those answering the phones, and the stories we heard on the other end of the line, all of those involved in last night's event should feel proud that we did public service media the way it's meant to be done.
Everywhere we looked, phone volunteers had grim, understanding expressions, lending that ear, perhaps to people who had never spoken these words before. What do I do? This is happening to me. He's in the other room. Words like 'document, document, document' and lots of silence as they just listened. Sometimes for 10 minutes or more, slowly nodding. Many volunteers were victims themselves. A man. A mother. A shelter operator. A self-defense instructor. Some suffering for many, many years. A few seconds after the 800 # hit the screen for the first time, two phones rang. Then more. Lulls. Then trickling in. Then another wave.
Those being interviewed told tales of suffering, leaving, then helping others find their ways out. Detectives talked of taking calls from the same women time after time, encouraging them to leave, seek help, do something...and seeing them again and again...not leaving. Dreading the phone call from a woman they had gotten to know all too well. "We can't make them leave." "I can only say I'm here for you when you need me." Judge Reynolds talked about restraining orders. "It's JUST a piece of paper I have to say. It can't really protect you. You have to do that yourself. It's just paper."
We even had a pledge...'Thank you for doing this kind of programming.'
One in 4 women are victims of domestic violence....and, it's the most under-reported crime. Arkansas ranks #9 in the nation, not something we want to be in the top 10 for, I'm sure we all agree.
Pictures from last night can be found on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/aetntv/sets/72157625141064003/