Becoming strong, over coming domestic violence

With October being domestic violence awareness month, the Rose State Domestic Violence Committee and the Special Services Office held a special viewing of “Telling Amy’s Story.”

Telling Amy’s Story is a documentary about the tragic end result of one particular abusive relationship.  Amy Homan McGee lived in Centre County Pennsylvania. She was the wife of Vincent McGee, and the mother of two children.  In November 2001, Vincent murdered Amy after she attempted to put an end to their relationship.

Every year women, children and in some cases men, report being the victim of Domestic Violence. For those that don’t report it, fear is the ruling emotion.

The documentary examines the tale of Amy and Vincent’s relationship.  From the first time they met to the last day of Amy’s life.  The footage captures the viewer’s attention and shows the steps taken to end the abuse.

As a viewer watching the film, it’s possible to grasp the sheer impossibility of the situation.  The feeling of hopelessness described, the fear Vincent instilled in Amy, the control he had over her, caused her to seek escape.

When Amy attempted to leave the place of abuse, Vincent would just follow her.  Watching the movie, a sense of trepidation wraps around the idea of what is right.

The documentary shows how a victim’s individuality is erased, and how the path they were on is changed. They become encased in the toxic nature of abuse.

Women, children, and in some cases men, suffer abuse everyday throughout the world.  “One of four women regardless of age, will at sometime in their life, be a victim of domestic violence,” Janet Griffith Counselor for Students with Disabilities said.

When considering the millions of women that live in the U.S., a quarter of that population is abused. The numbers are mind-boggling.  Yet the most anyone can do for those abuse victims is to open their arms and hope to give some form of support to enable and help them escape.

According to the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (OCADVSA) the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Brochure, in 2008 there were 51 murders, 547 sex crimes, 3,387 assaults, and 19,869 assault and batteries.  The brochure also says that between 1999 and 2008 there was a 12.5% rise in abuse reports. In 2009 there were 25 women murdered by their husbands or significant other.

At the end of Telling Amy’s Story, Detective Deirdri Fishel said, “every time I tell this, I think to myself, make it end differently, make it end with a happy ending, and I can’t because it really happened.”

Domestic violence abuse, whether physical or emotional, takes a toll on a persons will to live.  If anyone reading this story needs help, or wishes to help someone else, know that there is help at hand.  There is a Domestic Violence hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), or contact OCADVSA at 405-524-0700.

There are two certified counselors available to students who can help find resources for those suffering from domestic violence. They can be reached at 405-733-7373 or visited at the Special Services Office in the Student Center, room 101.

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