Listen To This 6-Year-Old Call 911 When Her Stepdad Beats Her Mom

Sometimes, it takes a little more than reading about something to move us into action.

One of the most interesting things about NFL star Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident was how much more attention it got after the video of him striking his fiancée in the elevator was finally made public.

Do we really need a visual to figure out that something terrible happened when two people entered an elevator and only one (the one who runs into 300-pound linemen on a weekly basis) exited upright?

But the reality is, it was one thing to read about it but something else entirely to see it. When you can actually empathize with the humanity of the situation, your perspective changes.


That’s why I wanted to share this video.

Trigger warning: This is an audio recording of a 911 call made by a 6-year-old girl who is witnessing her mother being beaten by her stepfather. It’s incredibly painful to listen to.

But if hearing it is what it takes to raise greater awareness around domestic violence and the silent victims of domestic violence — the children — then I think this is a video worth sharing.

(If you're on a mobile device, scroll down for a transcript of the call. Though, honestly, it's worth a listen to fully grasp the situation)

This call is from 1991. The audio from it has been used as a tool to educate thousands of people about the issues of domestic violence and the impact it has on children.

More recently, a social worker named Kit Gruelle tracked Lisa down, and they struck up a friendship.

She discovered that Lisa, now a grown woman, was trapped in an abusive relationship herself.

Fortunately, Kit was able to help her out of that relationship.

It may seem unbelievable that someone who grew up in that type of an environment would end up in an abusive relationship herself. But this just goes to show the degree of psychological damage domestic violence can have on young children.

You can read Lisa’s powerful firsthand account of her journey here.

I found this part to be particularly insightful:

And she concludes on this poignant note:

Finally, here's a separate post by someone who attended a conference Kit and Lisa spoke at. Both are important perspectives and well worth the read.

My hope in sharing this is that we can take it beyond those training rooms and raise everyone's awareness. If you agree, I'd really appreciate your help in spreading this far and wide.

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