ABC’s long-running hit Grey’s Anatomy never has any shortage of plot twists and turns. The last aired episode back in November ended with the character Jo Wilson coming unexpectedly face to face with her ex-husband who severely physically abused her. So much so that she didn’t dare divorce him, instead she fled and changed her name.
The returning episode which will pick up right where it left off was originally titled “Four Seasons in One Day.” It has recently been changed to “1-800-799-7233.” This phone number is for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
In an effort to raise awareness of the thousands of women who suffer at the hands of their partners who are supposed to love them and keep them safe, the show is doing what it can to provide viewers with tools and resources to get out of bad, dangerous situations.
The title change came after Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays attractive intern Andrew DeLuca, mentioned it to executive producer Krista Vernoff.
Both this midseason finale and the episode that follows are incredibly intense and dark, but in dealing with such a serious and pervasive issue it would have to be as real to life and unfiltered as possible.
The statistics and numbers don’t lie. 1 in 3 women will be the victim of domestic abuse by a romantic partner at some point in her life. Nearly half of all women murdered are killed by their romantic partner.
This crisis is an epidemic and so many women do not come forward, speak out or leave their partners for fear of what they will do. For the women who do leave, that specific window of time is the most dangerous and when many of the homicides occur.
Grey’s Anatomy deals with many devastations and tragedies, typically of the health or natural disaster variety, but the ubiquitous presence of domestic violence has yet to be a story arc.
That is, until now. It’s unknowable the amount of impact such an episode may have for countless women who feel alone and afraid.
The episode will air on ABC Thursday, January 18th at 8 pm.