A Call Away

Oklahoma is one of 26 states with a “failure to protect” law, which prosecutes parents who fail to prevent child abuse. Critics say the law disproportionately criminalizes women.

Series
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
February 17, 2020
Length
9:08 minutes
Funding Initiative
Short-Form Series and Special Projects
producer/director

Crystal Kayiza

Crystal Kayiza was raised in Oklahoma and is now a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” she is a recipient of the 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellowship and 2017 Jacob Burns Film Center Woman Filmmaker Fellowship. Her most recent short film, See You Next Time, aired on Starz and was an official selection Show more of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. . Her film, Edgecombe, was an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired for distribution by the PBS’s series POV. Crystal received a Heartland Emmy Award in 2012 for her film, All That Remians, which profiles Boley, Oklahoma, one of the nation's last all-black towns. Show less

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The Film

Oklahoma is one of 26 states with a “failure to protect” law, which prosecutes parents who fail to prevent child abuse. The ACLU and other groups say this law disproportionately criminalizes female victims of domestic violence, leading mothers to serve harsher sentences than the child abusers themselves. A Call Away tells the story of Clorinda Archuleta, a mother of two and victim of domestic violence. Clorinda, who is currently serving three consecutive life sentences under the Oklahoma law, was arrested after doctors discovered her partner abused their children. A Call Away follows Clorinda’s struggle to have her sentence commuted and traces the cycle of family separation and trauma in Tulsa County.

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