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A shame
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A year ago we were startled and alarmed at the brutal slaying of a beautiful and full-of-life 19-year-old.

Audrey Atkinson, a mother of an 8-month-old baby, was fatally shot at an Almon Road gas station.

Her mother, Vicky Atkinson, is a person with the greatest of courage. She sat down with our reporters recently and spilled out her heart in a front page article in Sunday’s paper. She also appeared in a video interview. See her story and video at

Vicky Atkinson is a full-time mother again, caring for baby Aiden.

Audrey’s boyfriend and murderer, Anthony Barrow, proved himself to be a selfish, controlling coward who took his own life so that he would not have to face a grieving mother and his child.

The sad part of this story is that the abuse at its roots is all too common: There are many bright and beautiful women here in Newton County who can’t seem to break from relationships with abusive cowards and losers.

The fortunate ones have broken away. The unfortunate ones are living in hell right now.

If you are a parent or friend of a person like Audrey Atkinson, you’ve likely tried to give advice or tried to tell them to get out of the abusive situation. Likely, they responded that they would, and soon. But they probably won’t, and soon ends up being too late.

You need to act.

Intervene. Call the police.

Sorry cowards who abuse women need to be stopped by an outside force. An abuser’s controlling personality is not going to be changed through kind, caring discussions.

By intervening, you might lose your friendship or your child may not talk to you for awhile, but that’s OK. It’s better that you lose those connections, than never to have the opportunity to have them again.

Our prayers go out to Vicky Atkinson. She is a brave lady to have shared her love and grief with each of us.

The message sent is clear: Don’t wait, don’t hesitate to report abuse, whether it’s with a family member or a friend.

After all, that is what true love or friendship is all about.