What you are about to hear is very difficult to listen to, but it also needs to be heard. This 911 call was made by 6-year-old Lisa Floyd, who is calling the dispatcher in tears because her stepfather is beating her mother. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and there were several points during the call where I nearly lost it. Hearing this poor little girl screaming and crying is painful, but thankfully, that's not where the story ends.
Years later, Kit Gruelle, an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse decided to look into what happened to Lisa. She was working for the police at the time and was able to use the department's resources to track her down. Unfortunately, Lisa was now a young woman who was in an abusive relationship of her own. With Kit's help, however, she was able to break away from that cycle.
Around the same time, she also found out about the tape. Lisa says she only vaguely remembers signing away the rights to the recording of that fateful 911 call, and she had no clue it would ever be used to "educate people about the effects of domestic violence on children." Even now, Lisa cannot bring herself to listen to the call, but she also wonders why that particular call got so much attention - she'd called the cops hundreds of times as a little girl, and Child Protective Service (CPS) workers had visited her home at least 23 times. She and her siblings were never removed, and though she was glad for that as a child, she now wishes CPS had taken them into protective custody.
Lisa shared her story on the Children of Domestic Violence blog, starting off with, "I'm Lisa, a survivor with a future, because of my past." She goes on to detail her difficulties growing up, and how her past dragged her down. She felt as though she wasn't worthy, that she was a failure who could do nothing to change her lot in life. This led to a series of abusive relationships, which she dealt with for years before she was able to break free.
She concludes her story with, "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." This is an incredibly powerful statement, and something that more people need to remember.
Please, keep all of that in mind as you listen to this call. The domestic violence and child abuse are incredibly difficult to listen to, but remember that this little girl was able to break the cycle of abuse and find her way to the right path in life.