Sunday, December 16, 2007

7 Year-Old Saves Mom

I don't want to steal so please check out this story with amazing commentary on one of my favorite blogs, Bitch Ph.D., HERE and the original story on The Detriot News website HERE.

Nearly two weeks ago I read a story about a 7 year-old who, after being kidnapped along with her mother by an abusive ex-boyfriend, tried to save her momma by jumping in between her and the gunman. According to the police report the gunman shot little Alexis 6 times "without hesitation". Alexis is still in the hospital and will likely have a long road of recovery ahead of her.

What struck me about this story was not its coverage in the news as it received very little. I was, however, astonished at its coverage in many online blogs and the comments that followed. I was absolutely blown away by the victim blaming that I was reading. Many blamed mom for once dating a "4 time felon". Its a sad reminder of the ways we are socialized to point our finger after a crisis, especially if the victim is a woman and even more if it involves domestic violence. These comments failed to address the many layers in this particular incident of domestic violence including the dynamics of abusers, racism, classism, poverty, and a failing social and justice system (it took 3 calls to 9-1-1 to get any response...can we say reform?). I would be overjoyed if, for once, blame was placed 100% on the person who perpetrated it, and that systems that fail to help survivors were also held accountable.

I have the sick feeling that this story didn't get much coverage in the news because of the race of the family and their location in a city with one of the highest crime rates in history. I'm writing this tonight in hopes to give voice to a family that much of the media turned its nose up at, in spite of the brutality of the crimes they experienced. While it may only live on our little PWCL blog, I think it is important that we recognize the strength of the survivors.

This is for mom's friend who was so smart in times of crisis and who dealt with a faulty 9-1-1 system. This is also for mom who must have been so terrified but fought to protect herself and her young daughter. And for courageous little Alexis who was braver than any little kid should ever have to be.

If you are needing a family to donate to this holiday season consider this one. They've got a long road ahead of them.

Campbell Elementary School
c/o the Alexis Goggins Hero Fund
2301 E Alexandrine St
Detroit, MI 48207.
For information, call (313) 494-2052.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Here's an UPDATE:

CNN posted a story about Alexis this week, and even for someone as critical of journalism as me, it was pretty heartwarming. Not to mention, they address some of the issues of domestic violence in a way that The Detriot News failed to, which is really, really refreshing to see in the news.

They mention that the little girl's special ed class at school is keeping a stuffed animal they nicknamed "hero" in her chair to save her spot until she gets out of the hospital. If that's not the sweetest thing I've heard all week, I don't know what is.