“Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” will feature a former Polk County family bringing awareness to the effects of domestic violence on the children who witness it.
The episode “Family Secrets: When Violence Hits Home” will air tonight at 8 o’clock on Nickelodeon and feature Penny Waldroup of Meigs County and her children.
“Sadly, for millions of kids in this country, domestic violence is a fact of life,” Ellerbee said in a press release. “It happens in all races, economic situations and family configurations. And it’s usually kept hidden from the outside world.”
“Nick News” is an award-winning children’s news show.
“We are hoping that by being on ‘Nick News’ we can reach out to as many children as possible,” Waldroup said in a phone interview Monday.
She said she hopes the episode will answer children’s questions, let them know that they are not at fault and that it is all right to talk to someone about what is happening.
Children often feel they cannot talk to anyone about abuse.
“We knew it was wrong,” Chelsea, 17, said in the “Nick News” press release. “We knew that the violence was something that my dad could get in trouble for. So, we chose not to tell, because we loved him. As a kid you feel hopeless because the two people you love are arguing and fighting, and you’re confused.”
A domestic violence survivor, Waldroup has made it her mission to bring awareness to this issue.
After her children met Brian Martin of the Children of Domestic Violence awareness organization, they joined her work full force.
“They are anticipating (and) wanting to be a part of everything I do now,” Waldroup said. “It has been wonderful.”
Waldroup said bringing awareness to the issue has given her children a chance to relate to others who are facing situations similar to what they went through.
“Me and my family made a decision that we’re gonna get the word out about what happened because there’s still kids in America that are living in the shadows,” Elijah, 14, said in the press release. “You don’t know what’s behind doors.”
Waldroup’s awareness efforts brought her to Bradley County in 2012 when she and a friend organized a walk-a-thon on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.