cellphoneEarlier today, a woman’s boyfriend was charged with attempted murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. She was interviewed by authorities and the media, where she gave an extremely vivid and terrifying account of hours worth of abuse before she was taken to the hospital (by her boyfriend) the next day. Thankfully, she is alive to share her story, and she urged listeners to get out if they’re in an abusive relationship. We truly admire her courage to come forward and share her gruesome experience and for pursuing prosecution of her perpetrator.

There are a number of tragedies in this case, from their ages (24 yrs old) to the severity of the crime. It was reported that neighbors saw what was going on, but they were to afraid to say anything. And, that is a real crime. This woman could have died. Where’s the responsibility? Where is the care and concern for your fellow man? How would any of those people feel had the outcome of this fight resulted in her death? Why didn’t anyone call the police? These are just a few of the questions/opinions that have circulated since this tragic story aired. But, the sad truth is, people are afraid because of the repercussions that may come from doing so. What if what you’re hearing isn’t really an abusive situation? What if someone finds out you’re the one who called the police? For so many, it’s not a question of ‘why’, but rather, a question of ‘how’.

I urge each and every one of you to contact your local District Attorney’s office, domestic violence council and/or resource centers for information regarding safety planning and knowing the signs of domestic abuse. There are a number of safe ways to report what you see and hear, while remaining anonymous. Some of these things include leaving the area where the abuse is taking place and calling or text someone regarding what you see/hear if it’s not feasible for you to call and ask them to do it. In Memphis, TN, I strongly encourage everyone to reach out organizations such as the Shelby Co Crime Victims Center, The Family Safety Center, the YWCA of Greater Memphis and The Exchange Club, just to name a few. We will also be sure to share this information on our website, and we always have it available at every event we host. We cannot allow fear or lack of education to keep us from getting involved. Staying silent could mean the difference between life and death.