By: Imran Suhail
In the FM Theater on October 18, the Assistant Program Director, Ginger Cato, hosted an event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Cato showed a documentary and spoke with a panel that consisted of Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney, Howard Aison, and Lieutennant Thomas Nethaway from the Amsterdam Police Department, to help inform students and answer questions on domestic violence.
The documentary shown reviewed the case of Amy McGee, a 33 year old woman who was murdered by her husband in their house in 2001. It explained how many people, including police officers, witness the abuse as it is happening, yet allow it to continue. The documentary explained the signs of an abusive relationship and the proper course of action one should take when coming across one.
“If you see something, say something,” said Lt. Thomas when asked what we should do as witnesses to domestic violence. “The more eyes we have on a situation could help officers make an arrest and prosecute the abuser.”
In the past, the victims would be allowed to return to their partner after abuse occurred. “Victims don’t have a choice now” said ADA Howard Aison. Once there is a written report, the state can keep the couple separated with long restraining orders. This helps the victims from falling back into the cycle that was covered in the documentary.
“Break the Silence, break the cycle” said Mary Way, an FM student who started a Facebook group called WHEW to help women in domestic violence situations. Mary is the survivor of an abusive relationship spanning the course of twelve years. She and her group will be letting off purple lanterns on October 22nd, from 1-3pm at the Fonda Recreation Park to help spread awareness.