Doctor duo helps abuse victims escape safely - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Doctor duo helps abuse victims escape safely

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Dr. Todd Motley, a new addition to the physician practice family at Methodist South Hospital, came across a patient three years ago who needed more than medical help.

"I asked her, ‘What happened to your leg? I mean, this is nasty. What happened?' She said ‘Well my boyfriend pushed me down,'" says Motley.

It was then that Todd and his wife Dr. Ann-Marie Motley, who also works in the physician office with him, began the Motley Initiative Against Domestic Abuse to help women, men and families escape abusive situations.

"It's just giving them the strength and the courage to understand there is a better life out there, you do not deserve this, you can survive without this situation," says Ann-Marie, "The men in particular they set the relationship up so they are dependent on them so they (women) have a difficult time leaving."

The Motleys created a unique, discreet way for domestic violence victims to reach out for help.

"You call the office, call our office number and say ‘I need a purple appointment.' The staff knows what that means. That means that someone is at this very moment being victimized and they have to get out of the house," says Todd.

The Motleys bring the victims to their physician office and from there to a safe house. The victims often leave in a hurry and cannot bring clothes or even toiletries. So the doctor duo ask community members to drop off at their office any toiletries, items people use every day in the morning to get ready.

In the three years their domestic violence initiative has existed, the Motleys have helped ten families escape dangerous and abusive situations.

"There's no shame in getting help and getting away. There should be no stigma attached to that," says Todd.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you can call the Motleys at their office at Methodist South Hospital to request a "purple appointment" at (901) 332-2277.

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