Middle TN domestic violence survivors receive 1,000 Ring doorbells

Survivors of domestic abuse are getting help protecting themselves from their abusers. WSMV's Courtney Allen reports.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Some women in Middle Tennessee are getting free Ring video doorbells. It is an effort to keep those women, who are survivors of domestic violence, safe from their abusers.

Women who have escaped abusive households said they often face stalking or harassment by their abuser for months or even years after they have left. Some said the video doorbells would have been a game changer for them.

Domestic violence survivors said it is hard to escape. “It was the fact that I had been stalked for over a year by my ex-husband,” Rusty Burdge said. “He came and broke into my home while I was gone, threatened my children and slashed my tires.”

Burdge said that was her reality more than a decade ago before there were doorbell videos around.

“I couldn’t get away from it,” Burdge said. “They couldn’t catch him because he knew what he could and couldn’t do to not be seen.”

Now, an abuser like Burdge’s would be seen and caught on camera thanks to a donation of 1,000 video doorbells to the YWCA that will go to survivors across Middle Tennessee.

“It is something I wish I could have had 12 or 13 years ago,” Burdge said.

Mayor John Cooper said the donation from Amazon and Ring is a big step in keeping families safe. Cooper said in Tennessee, more than half of all crimes are domestic violence related.

“In Nashville, our police department responds to a domestic violence call every 20 minutes,” Mayor Cooper said. “This year, our emergency personnel have received over 15,300 domestic violence reports so far.”

Burgde believes this will help survivors and their families have a greater sense of security.

“What if something happens, and I don’t see the kids or hear the kids,” Burgde said. “This stops a lot of that ‘what if?’”

The YWCA also got a $25,000 check from Amazon and Ring to help with their programs.