Lifetime documentary unlocks stories of domestic abuse

September 25, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

The law that protects a woman from brutality at the hands of a male co-worker sometimes fails the woman whose husband beats, berates and otherwise brutalizes her.

That message of lopsided justice is but one of many sobering ones delivered in "Prisoners of Wedlock," a 60-minute study of domestic violence, the eighth in a continuing Lifetime Television series, "Your Family Matters" (tonight at 9).

The debut of this hour is timed to tie in with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month which begins Oct. 1. And each frame of the documentary is filled with tear-stained faces and voices that struggle to make sense of senseless violence.

The women speak from prison cells and shelters, from single-parent homes and second marriages. Some of them are minorities of limited education; some, fast-track corporate executives with multiple academic degrees.

"Domestic violence doesn't discriminate," says Donna Harris, vice president for Lifetime's original programming.

Farrah Fawcett, whose portrayal of a brutalized wife in "The Burning Bed" catalyzed her interest in this issue, hosts and narrates the program.

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