Trigger Warning

Intro from : This piece was produced as part of the Transom Story Workshop Fall 2015 session. Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

Listen to “Trigger Warning”

About Trigger Warning

I had a few story ideas fall through before I landed on domestic violence. I was wary about doing a domestic violence story because most of them tend to follow the same pattern; I was afraid to create something that had already been done a thousand times. I wanted to do something that would capture the experience of the victim and not just follow the typical narrative. I finally decided to tell a story about domestic violence from a gay man’s perspective because it is one I have never heard before.

I contacted every domestic violence group and advocate I could find on the internet but was unable to find anyone who could set up an interview to share their experience in a timely deadline. I happened upon a list of gay friends churches in Cape Cod and emailed every single one of them asking if they knew of anyone who would be willing to talk. But I didn’t find any gay couples willing to talk. Instead, I was directed towards Paige, who is a survivor and advocate for women. After speaking with her on the phone for a short pre-interview I knew she was the person I wanted my story to focus on.

Paige was extremely candid and willing to talk about very difficult things. She warned me that she would be emotional during the interview and I suggested she think of it as radio-therapy. I decided that I wanted to start the piece off with romance. Everyone can relate to being in love and I hoped that by introducing the couple as they fell in love, people who have never experienced intimate partner violence could relate and put themselves in her shoes. We had to take several breaks during the interview because talking about it brought up so many painful feelings. Our interview lasted around four hours and we were both emotionally spent when it was done.

While workshopping our pieces I shared with the Transom class that I too was a survivor of domestic violence. They encouraged me to write my experience into the story so it would allow the listener to connect on a deeper level. It was extremely difficult to share so much about myself and make myself vulnerable while working on the piece. But both Paige and I are happy with the end result and hope that our story will help someone who has suffered at the hands of a family member.

Jacqui’s Sonic ID

Listen to “Jacqui’s Sonic ID”

I went driving across Cape Cod looking for interesting places and people to record. I happened across Nauset Light Beach and saw an ecstatic crowd of people gathered around the cliff and beaches whale watching.

Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

Jacqui Helbert

Jacqui Helbert

Jacqui Helbert hails from deep in the hollows of the Appalachian Mountains, specifically Southwest Virginia. She dabbles as an artist, musician, and blogger. But her real passion is creating radio stories. She is a member of AIR. You can contact her at And find more of her work at her website and at PRX.