To the editor:
On May 7, you printed a letter from Lynette Ambrose of Sandy. She took issue with a story KTVX News did on spouse abuse.Reporter Sheila Hamilton interviewed three women for the story. Ms. Ambrose disagreed with one of these interviews in which two basic points were made. First, the woman had been abused by her husband. Second, her bishop had counseled her to stay with her husband. The woman told us she had been beaten severely several times and during the last episode had been kicked in the head with a steel-toed boot.
Ms. Ambrose says she is familiar with the situation and that we have our facts wrong. Ms. Ambrose says "that the woman had greatly exaggerated the seriousness of the situation." There probably is a difference in perception if you aren't the one being beaten.
She also says the bishop "spent long hours counseling with her and her husband." We have no doubt that is true, but the fact remains the advice was to stay in a situation in which she was being psychological and physically abused.
The women interviewed by KTVX were all from the women's shelter. Before being admitted, they must go through a state screening process to determine if they are being mistreated badly enough to warrant protection. After admission, they are once again thoroughly interviewed by their counselor to make sure the abuse has taken place.
Finally, I hope the real point of Sheila Hamilton's story doesn't get lost in all this. That is, spouse abuse experts are trying to get counselors, both lay and professional, to advise people to get out of abusive situations rather than stay in them.
John S. Edwards
KTVX news director