On November 21, 1990 a six-year-old girl called 911. She was witnessing her stepfather brutally attacking her mother and her siblings.
Desperate for help, she called and asked for the police to come. This was not the first time Lisa witnessed her mother being beaten continually. When she grew up she shared her story with Child Protective Service workers to help educate them about domestic abuse.
She told them that there were “twenty-three documented cases of CPS coming to her house and that she nor her siblings were ever taken away from her mom. She said that she wishes she had been. Although she admitted that she would not have wanted to leave her mom initially, she said that in the end it would have been a better situation.”
Her childhood experiences had lasting effects on her life. She had such low self esteem that she ended up in the same type of abusive relationship that her mother had been in. But she finally broke the cycle of violence and found the strength to leave her ex-boyfriend when she was pregnant with her second child.
With help from people who took the time to encourage her and help her heal, and support from the Children of Domestic Violence, Lisa’s life began to change for the better. She shared her story on their website, and wrote, “My journey isn’t over – I still have many lessons to learn and obstacles to overcome. I’m just not afraid to take them on. There will always be good and bad, that’s really the only thing you can count on. The cycle proved that, and so did breaking it. I have not been in another violent relationship since. I am now free to make the choices I want, and achieve the goals I set. Knowing that I have broken the cycle has made the biggest impact in my life; and having people who saw in me the makings of success, have made it that much more meaningful.”
Lisa’s 911 call as a young girl has since been released to the public for educational purposes. Initially, Lisa had no idea that her tape was being used to educate people about the effects of domestic violence on children. But in her educational talks with social workers and law enforcement she challenged them to always remember the children when dealing with domestic violence because they have no control or power to change their situation.
Please be aware that the audio recording below is very difficult to listen to.
If you suspect someone you know is in an abusive situation, please try to talk with them and get them help. Don’t remain silent. You could be helping another child like Lisa.