WXXI AM News

Domestic violence survivor: ‘There is help out there’

Oct 1, 2019

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one survivor wants other victims to know there is help out there -- and neighbors and bystanders can play an important role if they see something.

Jerri Lynn Sparks, author of the book "Surviving Madmen," wrote about her former husband trying to kill her in the summer of 2012, and the first responders who saved her life.

“If people passing by or neighbors see something, make a 9-1-1 call, it can be very surreptitious, completely anonymous, and it establishes a history of a 9-1-1 call to that address, which can help you in future cases, also in court," she said.

Sparks added that there are many life-saving services available that people may not be aware of.

Sparks' book lists survival tips, warning signs, and describes how domestic violence can happen to anyone at any time
Credit Amazon.com

“A fire department, the firehouse, can actually be a safe place to run to if you need it,” she said. “A safe place to even walk into one day and say, 'I am being abused, I'm in danger. Can you help me?’ And a lot of people don't know the fire departments are there for that service as well."

Sparks said first responders helped her, so she decided to give back by becoming a firefighter herself.

She joined other survivors and advocates at the Gates Public Library on Tuesday to increase awareness about the life-saving services that are available.

Sparks also donated a copy of her book about surviving domestic violence.

"There's help out there, and everybody's willing to help. And if you see something, say something," she said.