The Ana Walshe case underscores the importance and need for domestic violence resources

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Ana Walshe case has placed domestic violence in the spotlight. And there have been many gruesome details revealed throughout the course of this investigation that so many of us have been struggling with. Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh is pausing to step back and talk about the resources that exist for survivors of domestic violence and how you can help someone in need.

Abby’s House of Worcester has been providing shelter and advocacy for victims of domestic violence since 1976. Kavanaugh spoke with shelter manager, Alfee Westgroves and Katherine Calano, special projects manager for advocacy and programs

Kavanaugh: “Obviously, so many people are following this case so closely, every single development. As gruesome as they have been, sadly, domestic violence happens in our communities every day. Despite the attention on this case, do you think this type of violence is discussed enough?”

Westgroves:Definitely not. I would often say I cannot wait for the day we don’t have a job. You know, I don’t need to have this job. The fact that it’s just prevalent as it is is unbelievable. Even though I have to believe it and I’ve seen it, I’ve heard it.”

Kavanaugh: “I was an interesting note about this case is the role of social media. The victim here on a wall shared many happy moments, happy photos. And we know social media is often just a highlight reel. So how can we all be better friends, family members if we’re concerned about a loved one? How do we have these difficult conversations in public?”

Calano: “Well, I think first, we really have to be sensitive to what someone may be experiencing and perhaps always assume that someone could be going through a really difficult interpersonal or home life and just treat one another, you know, with a lot of compassion and dignity and respect. It’s all about support networks. It’s all about people looking out for one another and believing survivors.”

Westgroves: “The survivor knows, deep down they know and if they feel judged, stop sharing, stop asking for help.”

Kavanaugh: “So if someone is out there watching this right now and they’re in a cycle of abuse or they’re concerned about a relationship, are in what is a first step they can take, even if it’s a micro step.”

Westgroves: “Talk to someone they trust. Say it out loud. Don’t normalize it.”

Kavanaugh: “As everyone follows this case, when it comes to domestic violence, what do you hope that people in our audience are mindful of?”

Calano: “We really want to drive home that people who are overcoming this kind of trauma are in no way helpless. Their stories will, you know, go on to help others.”

If you or someone you care about is worried about their relationship, there is help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Chat at or text “START” to 8-8-7-8-8.

Additional Resources:

Jane Doe Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Abby’s House, Worcester

Casa Myrna, Boston

Transition House, Cambridge

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