Friday, July 15, 2011

Redemption: A Story of Sisterhood, Survival, and Finding Freedom Behind Bars

I recently read a book about one woman's journey from abuse, then jail, and then to physical and mental freedom.

As a child, Stacey Lannert thought she had the perfect childhood. She had a loving father, caring mother and a little sister she tried to protect. Even though she moved a lot, her family was a constant presence.

Then cracks in the family facade started to show. Her parents started to argue more. Her father came home drunk many nights. And at age 8, Stacey experienced something no child should ever go through.

She was sexually abused and raped by her father.

The sexual and physical abuse continued for 10 years. During this time, Stacey was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse (including her mother) because of her father's threats. She also wanted to prevent her sister from also being abused.

But on Independence Day 1990, Stacey's worst fears were realized. Drunk and belligerent, her father raped her sister and Stacey was unable to protect her. Several hours later, Stacey shot and killed him.

She was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. While in jail, Stacey was able to forgive herself and her father.

This book was a powerful story on how one can overcome childhood sexual abuse, even from jail. Stacey was also able to still help out her sister, which shows the power of sisterhood. She encouraged her sister to take a plea deal after being arrested for conspiracy for murder, which allowed her to straighten up her life and eventually raise a family.

Stacey was pardoned from jail two years ago. She now has a full life and has started a non-profit to give support to those who have also suffered sexual abuse.

And here is the musical selection for this post:

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