This story of redemption from a women I've met serving life for killing her abuser, is extremely powerful- her voice will leave you speechless!
I am beginning a new featured post series called HerStory in which I will feature other survivor stories. A part of series will be stories from female inmates at a correctional institution where I volunteer / host my workshops. The institution is called Ohio Reformatory for Women, located in Marysville, Ohio and is the largest female prison in the state.
Upon my first visit, I was thoroughly surprised to see and hear all the programs and activities available to assist the inmates in becoming better citizens, mothers and overall better for themselves. It is not just a name but a philosophy and the roots of the institution that believes in changing the mindset and habits of the inmates to reduces the chances of recidivism.
I've met women from all walks of life; serving sentences for a range of offenses including serving life for the murder of their abuser. Rita Smith, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, asserts that “Most battered women who kill in self-defense end up in prison, and I have met many of them behind these walls. Some of them were victims of their childhoods, domestic and sexual abuse as well as their bad decisions. According to the ACLU, nearly 60% of people in women’s prison nation-wide, and as many as 94% of some women’s prison populations, have a history of physical or sexual abuse before being incarcerated. As a result, there are a lot of broken women behind the bars of prisons throughout the country.
Each time, I walk through the doors back to my car, my freedom and my family, I am humbled; I leave with just as much as I left behind. In their stories, I can see some of myself; from my insecurities and need for validation and a sense of belonging in my past abusive relationship; to the hurt, disappointment, and poor choices I made- all in search of the wrong things from someone else.
Perhaps, that is the reason I'm drawn to helping them as they try to find their way and pick up their broken pieces. Their stories are compelling, their journeys of redemption to regain freedom in their minds are fascinating. 'Incarcerated Redemption: HerStory The Voices Behind the Bars' gives them a voice to reach and save others.
Here is the redemption story of 39 yr old Thomia Hunter:
If you would like to correspond with Thomia, you can write her at: Ohio Reformatory for Women Thomia Hunter #60040 Lincoln 1479 Collins Ave Marysville, OH 43040-8808