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"It was 1:00 am when the 911 call came through, recalls Jacqulyn*, the dispatcher on call.
I recognized his voice immediately through the crackling phone, it was 9-year-old Louis*.
He said, “He has an ax, my father is mad and he has an ax"
It was 1:00 am when the 911 call came through, recalls Jacqulyn*, the dispatcher on call. I recognized his voice immediately through the crackling phone, it was 9-year-old Louis*. He said, “He has an ax, my father is mad and he has an ax.
Earlier that day I saw Louis across the street at the community center. It was my turn to volunteer to take lunch. Louis* was jovial as always running around telling jokes and goofing off. He approached me that day and very proudly said, “I am the man of the family now.” I sat there waiting for the punchline, but there wasn’t one. He was serious. He then told me he had protected his mother. He stood between his father and mother when his father was mad. Now he said he thought his father was mad at him and he was scared. Upon hearing this information, I taught Louis how to call 911.
Never did I think I would be the one to receive the call. A dispatcher at the time, I served as translator for Spanish speaking emergency calls. Oftentimes, when in panic or fright, people turn back to their native language. That is what Louis had done. His father saw he had a phone and had smashed it, that is why the phone made the crackling sound. When I recognized Louis’ voice over the crackling phone line, I asked if he was in a safe place. He told me that he and his sister were hiding under the bed.
I stayed on the line with Louis until the police arrived. Thankfully, they got there in time and were able to save Louis, his sister, and his mother from the rage of their abuser. Louis’ father had already made several blows to the mother’s face with the hatchet, and if Louis had not called 911 I don’t know if she would have survived.
The call from Louis changed my life because I now knew that I wanted to work for Family Abuse Services. It became important to me to be able to help families know that that kind of abuse is not ok and there is hope. I am sharing this story with you because I hope it will move you to help too. By donating below, you can help provide the services needed to support local families in need.