Pleading for Justice: Victim Impact Statements Read by Mother and 8 Yrs. old Daughter in Court
Pleading for Justice
Columbus, OH- On Wednesday, September 16th at 10:01 AM my abuser was sent to prison, and a weight and burden taken off my shoulders. A weight that I had carried for nearly two years; as I went through multiple court hearings, continuances and false accusations that implied I played a part in the abuse.
Prior to going to court that morning, I was anxious and nervous but prayed and asked God to "please show up, stand beside me and make his presence known". God not only stood there beside me that day, but he vindicated me.
The defense attorney did and said everything he could that day to make me look like I was a liar and like I provoked my former boyfriend to and assault me; which is typical of abusers and attorneys. I sat there and listened to all of it and held my head high knowing him [former boyfriend] and God knew the truth.Speaking to the judge and addressing the court that day, was the most liberating and freeing experience I had experienced since the journey began.
To be heard not only by the judge but by everyone in that room that day (including my abuser) was a feeling I will never forget.When I spoke, I pleaded for justice to the judge ...
"Not only for me but for my daughters and any other woman who is in the same situation I am, or has lost her life and did not have the chance to stand here. I want to be a living example to prove to them that holding on, not giving up and trusting in the Lord will prevail. I want to prove to my daughters that it is never okay for any man/woman to hurt them, and if one does, they will be held accountable. I want them to not be afraid to speak up; I want them to know that their voice will matter and when they speak it out against injustice that someone will listen and come to their aid."
I was proud to stand beside my eight-year-old daughter, as she spoke with unwavering courage, as she read out loud her letter to the judge, that she wrote on her own...from her own heart! Her little words were misspelled and her thoughts were all over the place, but it was her truth and her account of how much this night still resonates with her..even after nearly two years..
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place." ~Ephesians 6:10-14
Video file from Franklin County Court of Common Pleas