It's been an amazing June for the team here at ABC Action News' "Taking Action Against Domestic Violence" Campaign! On June 3, the National Association of Broadcasters' honored us with the prestigious Service to Community Award!
Today, our partners at CBS Radio's launched "Basta Ya." The move by WYUU Radio 92.5 La Maxima brings the Taking Action Against Domestic Violence Campaign to listeners in Espanol!!!
All this week, June 17 – 21, the Spanish language radio station will devote its 9:20 a.m. segments to DV awareness.
In part one, listeners heard the personal journey of DV Survivor "Olga." She escaped her abusive husband nearly a decade ago, relocating to Florida with her son. Olga was stabbed, punched, beaten with a baseball bat and nearly strangled to death before finally abandoning her childhood friend and sweetheart.
It's a story that sounds like something out of a horror film. While the on-air team of Maxima was visibly shaken by details of Olga's ordeal, advocates from The Spring of Tampa Bay DV Center and The Haven of RCS looked on in silence, just nodding their heads. These advocates have heard it all and, sadly, there are many Olgas out there with similar tales of horrific physical and emotional abuse.
One in every four women in the U.S. will be victims of domestic violence or dating violence in their lifetime. Physical abuse is only one aspect of DV, which, in fact, takes on a "layered approach" in a victim's life. DV includes emotional and financial abuse as well. It's not about love. It's about power and control.
Nio Fernandez, the Programming Director for 92.5 FM Maxima, was among the first to meet Olga. She contacted the radio station asking for help finding a local dentist. After the initial calls, Fernandez realized there was something more to Olga's dental health needs. Intuitively, he asked how his team could help. Her response was so much more than anyone expected. Olga's words opened their eyes to the ugly truth about domestic violence: victims (and abusers) are everywhere!
"Olga's story is a real life wakeup call for all of us, as these stories are far too common, yet we don't hear much about them because the victims live in constant fear," said Fernandez. "We applaud this lady for sharing with us her story about the abuse she endured, which included her teeth being knocked out with a baseball bat, and even being stabbed by her ex-husband."
Fernandez shared her story with the crew at Maxima and together they produced a one-week awareness campaign. It's a decision that will, no doubt, save lives. 92.5 FM Maxima is the top-rated Spanish contemporary radio station in the Tampa Bay area.
"As soon as listeners heard Olga's story, calls began pouring in to 92.5 Maxima," said Franco Ripple, Director of Public Affairs for CBS Radio Tampa Bay. "That's because unfortunately, almost everybody knows someone affected by domestic violence. This week is all about one thing: giving people the knowledge, resources and support needed to break the cycle of abuse." Ripple adds that listeners can follow the Spanish language discussion using the hashtag: #BastaYa at Maxima's twitter handle @925Maxima.
Tune in tomorrow, June 18, for my Spanish language radio interview on our "Taking Action Against Domestic Violence" campaign and the customized DV webpage created by our team here at ABC Action News. On Thursday, June 20, it's a text-in show. Listeners will send in their DV questions, texting to 52051. Spanish-speaking advocates from The Spring of Tampa Bay and The Haven of RCS will be there to answer. Participants texting in will remain anonymous.
On our website, www.abcactionnews.com/dv, you'll find a full listing of local DV centers and you can test yourself for signs of abuse with the "wheel of power and control." No judgements, just help.
The statewide DV hotline is 1-800-500-1119.