The Center for Disease Control says approximately 12 million Americans have been abused by a partner. Reporter Justin Bull is admittedly naive as to what abuse means to survivors. Of all things, a super bowl ad helped give him perspective, or at least, a place to start to try and understand.
He spoke with a specialist, a survivor, and strangers in order to get some perspective. The specialist, Carmen Espinoza, is a Domestic Violence Specialist for the
Falmouth Police Department.
"There’s no demographic," Carmen said. "We have offenders as young as 15 and 16. We have offenders as old as 80. And the same for survivors, same age range. Domestic violence knows no walls."
The survivor, Gabbe Rowland is from East Falmouth. She has become an outspoken advocate against domestic violence since the 2014 trial of her abuser, who was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.
"I’m not sharing my story to get a pat on the back," Gabbe said. "I’m doing it for the woman who’s sitting in her house and maybe has an hour away from her abuser, and she can somehow see my story, or hear it, or read it, and know that she's been through that, and she can get out because I got out. It's more for the people who lived in my shoes and who are living in my shoes."
Lastly, the strangers were ten pedestrians walking down Main Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Their responses helped give a voice to the trove of available statistics on this subject.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: | 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) | http://www.thehotline.org/
This piece comes through our production partners, Atlantic Public Media and their training program: The Transom Story Workshop. Justin Bull is a recent graduate - for more information go to Transom.org