Reporters have a hard time articulating the words “domestic violence” or “intimate terrorism.” They prefer “troubled relationship” or “messy divorce.” If a stranger beats the crap out of us, they have no problem characterizing it as a crime committed by a criminal perpetrator. But, if we know and love the perpetrator, the crime and criminal behavior are minimized.
Hopefully, this will change with today’s nominations for news and documentary Emmy awards which will be presented on September 28 in New York City. Cindy Waitt hit the jackpot this year with nominations for Private Violence and Bully. Both films were nominated in the Outstanding Informational Programming Long Form category. Bully was also nominated for Best Documentary.
Ms. Waitt is a domestic violence activist and philanthropist. She was an executive producer of both films. Private Violence was a collaboration of survivor activists Kit Gruelle and Cynthia Hill. It chronicles the effective advocacy so many domestic violence survivors don’t receive.
I am also thrilled to report that local investigative reporter Susannah Frame at KING (Seattle’s NBC affiliate) received a nod for Hanford’s Dirty Secrets. She has more recently investigated DSHS’ repeated failure to protect Aiden Barnum from his father’s abuse. Her report, “Forgotten Child,” chronicled the callous indifference to Aiden’s injuries and permanent disabilities by state officials.
The outrage was so intense that the legislature passed Aiden’s Bill which will hold DSHS employees accountable for their failure to protect children from abusive parents. Ms. Frame received an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2014 for her report. Aiden has been adopted from foster care by Bill and Melissa Barnum.
“Forgotten Child” Now Disabled for Life, Susannah Frame, KING5 News, 12/19/14
Review: Private Violence, 10/18/14
Let’s Not Forget Teen Dating Violence as We Talk About Bullying by Cindy Waitt, 6/21/12