Write to the Women of CWAA

Jun 26th, 2009 In: Featured Resources By: Comments 63

The Convicted Women Against Abuse need your support, encouragement and words of inspiration after hearing their stories in Sin by Silence.  Also, if you are able to, include some stamps in your letter and make sure to write “stamps enclosed” on the envelope.  Most inmates only make 10 cents per hour at their jobs, so stamps are greatly appreciated…and will help the women be able to write you back!


Glenda Virgil was released on June 25, 2013. Send her a message that we can pass along to her at virgil@sinbysilence.com


Glenda Crosley passed away on July 13, 2013 from a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. We find solace in the fact that her incredible story will carry on through Sin by Silence for generations to come. Click here to read more >>

LaVelma Byrd
CIW, W54191, LA246L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Joanne Marchetti was released on November, 2015. Send her a message that we can pass along to her at joanne@sinbysilence.com

 Rosemary Dyer
CIW, W30483, MA08L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Send a message to all the women of CWAA through the current Chairperson…

Susan Bustamante
CIW, W27953, MA28L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Click here to download a printable PDF of all the survivor’s addresses.

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63 Responses so far.

  1. Sandra White says:

    I will send a copy of uncording…I am also wondering what Tereasa Cruz
    (sp)is doing? I was the Advocate for Claudia Reddy and I ran into her Mother at the Board of Prison Terms, often…she was such an inspiration to all of us…I told Pete Wilson “If my daughter was ever incarcerated for defending her life from an abuser…Green Peace would have nothing on me…I would be sitting on the Rotundra! Mothers & Children Support The Battered Woman’s Defense came into being because I was impressed and felt sooo much compassion for the Mothers whose daughter are serving life in prison and raising their grand children. And with Claudia’s Mother she had to watch her daugter die…I did get her a hospital and a hospice unit and her loved ones were there. Teresa’s Mom never gave up and died of breast cancer because she was sooo wounded. It really is about what we do with our wounding because the hurt and pain is there….I keep going and taking ACTION to stay in power and to deal with my anger and frustration.
    Letting Go And Letting God is a big peice to learn but it does work. So keep doing what works. I have always been impressed with the women in CIW for moving forward and breaking the silence.
    Writing Oprah is a good action…moving away from punishment for taking action and women being crazy has to be changed and she is the one who can do it. Let her know about what you are doing and Sin By Silence.
    I also put petitions on the petitionsite.com….I just removed letters to Joe Biden
    and the First Lady because I have been under cyber attack.
    So ask your friends and families to subscribe or find petitions for the release of battered women and prison reform. I will be putting out more info.
    I will be out this weekend gathering signatures at Wal Mart under threat of arrest to begin a release program for bws’s.
    Hang in there! Keep moving. I don’t know how many beatings I took in my life and pushed back in my chair and forbidden to speak up and speak out from the men in my lives and even women, but quess what…I grew up and became an ACTIVIST! Ha! Ha! I faced loosing my life for me to gain my freedom…I could be right where you are….I got lucky and I swear to you that I will never give up until you are free.I am hoping to do some fundraising soon. I work for free.
    I sent the questions to Sonia Sotomayer about is the Supreme Court Defense gender specific enough since men are getting manslaughter and women are getting life…I also want to know what is the intention of The Supreme Court regardind sentencing…is it acquittal and involuntary manslaughter or life in prison? What does she intend to do about all the battered women robbed of the defense and overly sentenced sitting in the Justice Department?
    The new NOW President is an Attorney, she has worked on battered women survivors. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton
    has asked to sit down with NOW and findout what NOW wants…I am hoping the Freedom Of Battered Women In Prison Across America!

  2. katrina says:

    Hello Glenda, LaVelma, Joanne, Rosemary, and Virgil,

    Thank you so much for appearing on the video “Sin by Silence.” I was privileged to see a screening of it tonight at Vanguard University. It was such an encouragement to see Brenda in person. I pray that someday soon, you too, will regain your freedom.

    I just want to write to tell you that hearing your stories really touched my heart. I admire you all for having the courage to share the stories of your lives on camera openly and honestly. I hope and pray that this movie will have a tremendous impact to change our world for the better–it starts with 1 voice. In this particular case 6 voices were highlighted and I hope it will be all the more influential.

    I grew up in an abusive home; mostly mental and emotional, but the physical reared its ugly head every so often. Nearly every night my father would get set off by something—clothes on the floor, dinner not ready and waiting, if his kids didn’t exuberantly greet him when he got home—into a drunken rage until the early hours of the morning. Hitting my mother, throwing beer bottles close to someone’s face, and always threats of what would happen if we ever left him increased as time went on. As a young child, I knew I couldn’t tell anyone anything about what happened at home, at night. By 5 yrs old I had a plan to run away if anything ever happened to Mom; I did not want my sister and I to be left alone with him. And the worst part of it all was I thought this kind of behavior was normal; I knew everyone didn’t live this way, but it was the norm for how I lived, at least. We left twice. Went back after he’d “changed.” Finally when I was 12 yrs old we left for good. We went into a shelter and disappeared. However, by the time I was 11 I realized the depravity of his behavior. I lost all respect for him and began to resent him. If my mother hadn’t gotten us out of there; I’m sure I would’ve have killed him myself within a few years. But God is good—I’m now 24 and keeping both eyes open for those red flags, so I can have a healthy relationship. My mom now leads a domestic violence ministry at our church and is working with community support efforts.

    All that to say, I can relate in some small way to what you’ve been through. I commend you ladies for taking your deep hurts and pain, seeking help and healing in the CWAA, and then now turning it around to help others and improve our society. I encourage you to keep truckin,’ as my grandpa would say—keep moving forward, doing the best you can. Continue to seek help and healing. Know that your voice is making a difference. Please keep striving for change. One day the laws will be improved and I pray that eventually violence in the home will only be a barbaric thing of the past.

    Thanks again, for sharing.


    Costa Mesa, CA

  3. jane hurren-wetzig says:

    Keep up the good work, thank you for your courage and strength.The film was incredible-I live in France, not sure what the legal position is.(Saw the film at a Feminist/lesbian Festival where it was roundly applauded. Thankyou.

  4. DROST Karine says:

    hello, I am Karine Drost from FRANCE. I’ve seen Sin by silence during the 22th movies lesbian festival in Paris. This film is really a good thing to say and show at the word that the system have to change and alls womens should be protected and respected all over the word.
    I’m a teatcher and every day at school, i try to learn at the little french boys and girls how to respect themself. thank you for what you are. i am so proud of you!! i’m sure that everybody could killed when dangerous and violent situation arrived! in one second on the street or with a violent husband. thank you to be alive and be able to make noise about domestic violence! i hope that you will be free as soon as possible! continue to be free in your mind, i think about you and i will talk of you everywhere. bye and kiss

  5. Lakisha says:

    I am so thankful that I came across this website I didn’t know anything about this. But I want to support these women anyway I can, I will start writing letters over the weekend. Everybody needs encouragement especially what these women have went through. I get so sad when I hear stories about domestic violence because I know how it feels first hand. That is why I have created a website/blog for domestic abused victims because I knew how it felt for me when I felt no one in the world knew the pain I was feeling. Until God lead me in the direction of some really wonderful people who help me get through this. So, I would like to give back in any way I can …

  6. Sophie says:

    Sorry for my english so frenchy but I would like to say, we saw your documentary in France.
    Your story was very moving and we hope this film will have a long life to help women in your case.
    It’s certainly a success because i write this message in english for you!!! :-))
    Kisses from Nantes

  7. Tanya McDaniel says:

    Let me start of by saying thank you for your courage and strength.People can tell you to do this or that but it doesnt matter…Until you are right there living that life you NEVER know what to do! I can say its been over five years since I was in that life style…I prayed and prayed ever day for God to take the Devil out of my house!
    I understand on somemany levels…I was having my first child and having to beat this my off of me some nights…My mother always asked ahy do you stay? I went from being a little shy teenager to a mother all so fast that I diddnt have time to even slow down…with my cause the father just broke me down beating verbal and mental….I diddnt have anything left inside,,,,,,I can remember running from him in the middle of the night with my son in my arms trying to find a payphone to let my mother know….Hey if Im not here tomorrow he killed me…..Now all these years later….I am still a little bitter….but with Gods help I will get over this…I will never forget the nights he was going to kill me….But our wonderful God had other plans for me…and i owe him all the glory and praise……..Ladies I understand oh Jesus do I ….I dont regret any of it because it has made me a very strong women….But, going through not knowing if he has his drugs and going to kill you in the middle of the night was not for me!! i WISH YOU ALL THE BEST ….AND SUPPORT YOU SO


  8. Lisa says:

    I watched your film Sin by Silence and my heart goes out and prayers go up for you women locked up, I am a victim of domestic violence i was not abused my self but i watched my mother be abused. So i know how hard it is to keep living in that situation everyday not knowing if it is you last. I feel that the system has failed you even though you have committed the crime of murder. I think it is time the legal system realize you were the VICTIM TOO!!!!! For the women with children it may not seem like love or care about you but they do:-)))) they just need time to heal too.

  9. D. Eaves says:

    Why are we paying tax dollars to hold these women who are so obviously NOT a threat to society, and have paid their dues and then some. I have convicted child sex offenderes all over my neighborhood, who are not incarcerated due to prison overcrowding!!!

  10. Ann says:

    To all the CWAA,
    I just thought it would make you happy to know that two years ago when I was just an incoming freshman in high school, my school held a mandatory assembly for all incoming freshman on abusive relationships. They went over how they start, and the signs that you will recognize if you are in one, and where you can go for help, to legally get yourself separated from your abuser. They identified that abusive relationships can be emotional or physical. And that it starts with an abuser being the nicest they can be to you, they make you feel safe and loved, and then they start testing you. whether they emotionally dig at you, or physically hurt you, they test your limits, and then apologize like crazy to get you back, then time goes by, and they do it again, even worse than before, then they get you to take them back again, and this cycle goes on until you are feeling trapped, helpless, and are their victim with no voice, whom they beat senseless, or tear to pieces emotionally. Because of that assembly, all 224 of my fellow freshman at the time became aware of how to recognize if they are in an abusive relationship and how to get help, and speak up if they are. This was two years ago, and I’m not sure if your speaking up about being in abusive relationships somehow is why we were given this information, but nevertheless, we became AWARE and SURE that silence was not the answer to escaping abuse. I commend you for your speaking up, and wish you all the best. ♥

  11. Randi says:

    Hi. I am a doctor, a mother, a daughter and a human being. I am a survior of Domestic Violence. Although I was able to get out of the relationship without committing the most desperate acts, it has come at a great price. It has taken me years to recover my professional reputation, my financial stability and my self worth. I did it all for my children who make me proud every day. I understand all too well, the requirement placed upon me for silence. I have been largely silent for many years because when I spoke up, I was shunned professionally and personally be employers, by family, and by friends. A part of me will always be broken if I stay silent forever. My way of dealing with my horrible self doubt was to be an over-acheiver. And yet, the doubt remains. It remains because the condition of my acheivments rests on my not presenting myself as an abuse survivor.

    I understand completely how it came to be that you had to end the abuse by ending the life of the abuser. It could have been me.

    Thank you for making this film and having the courage to no longer be silent. Thank you for taking the steps to free all survivors of the prisons of their own creation. It should not be the burden of people who have nothing more to lose to free the rest of us. I am tired of carrying the shame for the misdeeds of another person. I am tired of pretending that this man, the person to whom I had dedicated my life did not punch me, did not repeatedly threaten my life and did not strangle my breath away over and over again while threatening me. And my therapist, in the end sided with him. She thought he was a really sweet guy.

    Yes, I know silence. And it is time to speak out. i don’t want to be silent anymore either.

  12. Rosaura says:

    My name is Rosaura Torres, I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. I am also the Author of Abuse Hidden Behind The Badge.

    To each and every one of my sister, my love and respect and support goes out to you. Thank you for your voice, thank you. I am so sorry for what you had to endure.

    God bless each and everyone of you!

    Rosaura Torres

  13. Anita says:

    I feel such a deep connection with all you ladies. I was with my mentally, physically, psychologically and even sexually abusive husband for 23 years. I used to think women were so niave to stay in a domestic violence situation. But after years of living and sleeping with the enemy, I can understand why you ladies felt you couldn’t take it anymore. It’s the brainwashing mind control of these mentally sick men, that cause us to feel so trapped and worthless that there’s no hope. Before I finally had the guts to go and get a restraining order against him, the thought of harming him did cross my mind. It was my marriage councelor, who pulled me to the side and said, I can’t talk with you anymore. She said that there was going to be a homicide and it wasn’t me that was gonna die…she told me I had had enough and there was no hope for this relationship. The very next day, i asked God to help me. My husband came home and for no reason, hit our 14 year old son 12 times in the face. I went the next day to the courts and filed a restraining order. It was the scariest day of my life. I knew when he found out, he would follow up on his threats and hunt me down and kill me….thanks to God he never did. I will pray for you all. I am in hopes that someday, the judicial system will lighten the sentencing on these sad situations. You gals should not be where you are today!!!

  14. Hello ladies,
    Thanks so much for enlightening the rest of the world.
    I will be writing to some of you.
    Know that a lot of us are with you.

  15. K.lopez says:

    Hello all survivors of abuse!
    I just wanted to say that it is such an injustice to see how our justice system has failed so immensely. I am ashamed to be apart of a world where it is ok to be taken away from society despite the situation you have been placed in through no fault of your own. These stories has touched me in away that I can not even verbalize it. I pray that a real justice will be served to all who have been involved in this situation. I have never been in an abusive relationship before so I can’t tell you that I understand or know what you have been through. What I can tell you is that as you know you are not alone. The world is awakening and starting to see the damage that all forms of abuse has been causing for years. With all my prayers and love

  16. Irene Ferraro says:

    This hurts, this whole thing hurts so bad. i need to help my sister.

  17. Ann James says:

    You women are awesome and inspiring. WE are not alone! Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

  18. Jeff Wood says:

    I hope you ladies remain strong. My Mother was an abused spouse in the early 70’s, which resulted in the death of my Father. Abuse is never OK, my Mother was an awesome mother, wife, and best friend.

    I would love to give you support, and help with your cases. My Mother was lucky she never spent time in Prison, at 20 years old with 2 kids, and being abused by my Father. I am glad my Mother remains a strong, free lady today. Keep your hope alive. I would love to help.

    Jeff Wood

  19. Stephanie May says:

    Hello Ladies – I just finished watching the documentary and wanted to write to THANK YOU ALL so very, very much for sharing your stories. I, also, am a survivor of domestic abuse, and I was so impressed, so motivated by your strength, your character, your love and tenacity… well enough mushy stuff! You reminded me how lucky I am to be alive, and how much work there is to do to help create the change we all know is so desperately needed.

    I’ll never forget the first time I actually looked – and truly saw – myself in the mirror after too many years. I mean, really see myself. And I wondered, where the hell is the woman who owns this body? If I don’t find her, I’ll either be dead or in jail.

    I was given a pretty big mouth from the BIg Guy, and you made me realize I have to quit making excuses for not using it to spread the message. I work 3 jobs, and am a single mom, so I can find an excuse for not doing just about anything if I want to. But how the hell can I keep looking at myself in the mirror, when I know that I could be helping – and I’m not.

    Thank you again for forging through your pain to help us all, inside and out. I have to do more – and I thank you for making me see that, too.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you all, and for all of the women who have been forced to join you since. I pray for your release, and for the good things that are waiting for you all on the other side of the pain.

  20. Angela says:

    As the oldest child of of one of these women I just dont understand why she stayed , why she sometimes threatend us with his abuse. she was abused but that abuse was inflicted on us and sometimes she instigated it .sometimes he went after us he did horrible things sometimes it would start with us then at other times we would jump in to help her and he would turn on us and leave her alone , I dont think she belongs in prison . I guess i just want answers I have not had any contact with her in years i did watch the documentary to night

  21. connie robinson says:

    I was wondering when someone would take interest in helping women in your situtation. I watched the film and I want to help. Something inside told me to get a pencil and paper to get a phone # or email so I could see what I can do to help. I just want you guys to know that we woman are all sisters and I will do what ever I can like I would do for my blood sister. God bless all of you….
    with much love …Connie Robinson

  22. LaRanda says:

    To all the ladys I would like to say thank you for this Documentary. I felt the pain and hurt because I have been in those footsteps I know what its like to go through mental, physical abuse my ex-husband did it for years not only being abused but I grew up in it. I am now a Criminal Justice student and I want to use my skills to help speak out to women that have or may be going through this abuse. Yes it is time to speak out and I have that voice to do so.

    Thank you all for breaking the silence..

  23. Elizabeth says:

    To all the women that came together to open our awareness to domestic violence I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was raised in a violent home in west virginia and my mom could have easily been in your shoes. Now I am starting to think her denial of how bad it was is what saved her. One of the ladies said something in the show that really hit home for me .[When you start to feel trapped you already are} and the emotional scars are so much worse because we replay them over and over all day long . I am a strong person in a terriable place in my life right now and trying to get out which is hard to do. The women in the show give me hope. that maybe a little peace might get to me before its all over and for that I thank you

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I wish I could tell everyone to dont be misled silence is in your friends home,in your work place,behind beautiful gated homes and behind ladies we work with everyday . Look a little closer and care alittle more.

  25. Regan says:

    How great this film! Describing to others the insidious nature of especially emotional and psychological abuse is long overdue. Tthe stonewalling, silence, countering, denial, lies about perception of what the man is doing or saying and the twisting of meanings and intentions, makes one think they are going insane. In fact, I believe that by the abusive man’ s manipulations in these areas, a woman begins to lose faith in her own perceptions and in her own intuition. This is what disempowers us and “throws us off our game.” I also think they intentionally do this, knowing that disempowering you will put you in their control.
    I can most definately understand the situation under which a woman feels she cannot stay and is risking her life leaving….and all she did was try to “love” someone? Awfully high price I would say. I wish they would let these women out, this is no ordinary murder or crime!

  26. TINA says:

    Ladies, I want to thank you for having the courage to do your documentary. I’m positive it was difficult to break your “Silence”. But I’m proud of each and every one of you.
    I could be you! I’ve been abused on more than one occasion. Somehow I seem to pick the “winners” and recently my best friend turned into my lover, turned into my mental abuser then finally my physical abuser. I’m grateful to God that He removed this man before it got any worse but the memories will forever be burned in my children’s memory as well as my own. I swore 10 years ago I would never let another man treat me bad in any way and even stayed single for 7 and 1/2 years. Then I tried to help a friend and it just amazes me how stupid I was to fall for “it” again… even though I knew all the signs.
    I pray for each of you, that God will touch the persons who have your life in their hands and that they will do right by you. I’m sure you know we all have a price to pay for our actions… and some of you have paid and over paid but I pray justice is served and you are set free once and for all. My love to each of you. God bless and if anyone of you cares to write me I would love to stay in touch.
    Sincerely, Tina Cates

  27. Mark says:

    Well…. I just watched “Sin by Silence” on Discovery ID.. What an earthshaking experience! You have told a story that the overwhelming majority of us don’t know about. I have to admit that even though I am fairly well read and familiar with most things happening in this country, I was quite stunned that you have been the victims of an ostrich society. The courage you have shown to expose this dark secret is stunning. Keep fighting, hold your heads high and know we are out there supporting you!
    I see that so far I am the first male that has responded to you here, but I am sure I wont be the only one! Not now at least!

    Just know I’m out here waiting for your victory and the support is more than you know!

    St Petersburg, FL

  28. Kathy says:

    I watched this documentary tonight and tho it is late, I feel I have to speak to you now. The truth of everything you shared with us is so staggering and caused me to relive the agony of 12 years of horror that my children and I endured during my life with their dad. The shame of my failure has haunted me for nearly 30 years. The public during those years (70s & 80s) was openly hostile toward any one daring to bring light to this issue. I managed to escape with all our lives and paid a price for enduring in silence. Never realising how many of us there were out there, I kept the pact, raised my chidren in poverty, suffered the condemnation of family and friends, and had no self esteem for many years. Thank you for sharing those glimpses of your pain, and allowing my anger to at last be free. If there is any thing I can do to help promote your struggle for justice, please tell me what I can do. All of us have suffered long enough in silence. “Free at last, free at last, lord God, almighty, free at last.” This was a cry by enslaved people when the Emancipation Proclamation was read during the civil war. Isn’t it time that we were all freed at last.

  29. Darlene Dahlquist says:

    I have been abused by my father and lots of men. I got into domestic abuse counceling in Minot ND in 2006 and it was the best thing I ever did in my life. I came so close to killing my first husband and feel so bad for all of these women. I am in a place where I could help someone when they get out if they would be intersted and would like to hear from some of you. I pray for you all, and just no that God is on your side. To bad our dumb government could not realize what these men have done to us.

    All my love

    Darlene Dahlquist

  30. Linda says:

    I watched the documentary, “Sin By Silence” last night and it brought me to tears. I had abuse in my marriage, but it was more mental than physical, and I was very lucky to get out and never look back. I think you ladies are doing something wonderful. I remember getting a piece of paper, a “protection from abuse order”, which the court insanely believed would keep him away from me! Good luck to all of you and remember, you have many SISTERS. You certainly deserve to be home among your families.

  31. Melissa Jackson says:

    Ladies: I saw the film last night and cried and prayed throughout. This very well could’ve been me. When my ex choked me to unconciousness, I came to and followed him from the bedroom as he went out the door. I think he thought I was dead. I fully intended to get a butcher knife in the kitchen and bury it btwn his shoulder blades. The domestic violence had caused me to lose custody of my child, and convinced that I would never see my boy again, this outrageous thought of murder (self-defense?) seemed a great idea at the time. Suddenly, as I reached for the drawer, a picture of my son popped into my mind. I knew, then, that my abuser would like nothing better than to see me in prison and everyone to see him as a victim. I let him go, and within 3 days was in a battered women’s shelter. I lost everything when I left, but it was worth it! Six years later, I have custody of my gifted/talented son, and we’re doing great! My son is very respectful and empathetic to women’s issues. He has vowed never to be a SLUG (as in slugger) and I believe him. God be with you…I wish there were a magic wand I could wave to alleviate your pain and suffering. The sad thing is, this has been the norm since the beginning of our species. It will likely not go away in our lifetimes…maybe never. Remember: THERE IS A LOVING, COMPASSIONATE, AND JUST GOD WHO WILL DEAL WITH THESE CREEPS AND EVENTUALLY HOLD EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IN HIS LOVING ARMS! Sorry I can’t offer anything more. You are loved and admired by many of your sisters who are still suffering!

  32. Ava Scanlon says:

    I was a victim of domestic violence with my husband. Luckily through the spirit of survival I left with my 2 sons, 13 and 5, and never looked back. I was working at the local hospital typing medical reports, while going through his madness. It was and is the most difficult thing to get over. I left in 2003, finished court stuff in 2004–got full custody with child support luckily (because he molested the 5 year old on a visit), but it has been since 2003, my sons and I in therapy since, I still have deep problems trusting men, I do not want to be anywhere I feel vulnerable–even a gym.

    When will the pain and isolation and dread of life leave me? I feel happy for a while–then it comes back. My sons are doing very well by the way.


  33. Diana Zaldana says:

    I just saw the film. I was a victim in domestic violence in my teen years. My boyfriend who I was living with would beat me. I am glad that I got out of that relationship. I wish back then when it was happening I would have known strong woman as all you because it is a secret and feeling alone and ashame of what was happening was not right. I hope and pray that the court system will realize that sometime the only way out is either the abusers life or the abusee and you did not chose wrong. God bless you and I hope that your time behind bars are not hard.

    I will find out a way to help woman in abused situations.



  34. Lorraine Crawford says:

    In 1977, I woke up to the sounds of the police screaming” Don’t come out of the room”. They did this several times during the night. It was a terrible sound. In the background, I could hear someone gurggling someone grasping for air. I looked outside and saw the police cars & EMT’s. Next, I saw my pretty mom calmly enter the back of the police car with cuff’s on. About an hour later us four kids were put in the back of a police car. None of us spoke. None of us would really speak about this again. That was 1977 and I was 16. My mom after years of living in a very abusive home shot my crazy dad. Back in the day, my dad must have the devil on his back because he would go out drinking once or twice a week and you never knew if you would live threw the night. He would wake us kids up and knock us from wall to wall. HSometimes, he would throw all the dishes all over the house, shoot guns at the wall and lots of very bad things. My father was a big man and he was always screemeing and yelling. I was also so scared and really hated living with an abusive drunk. The emotional abuse was so bad that words can’t explain the feelings. Athough, my father was injured badly.. he did not die. My mom served a 5 year probation and yes the kids were returned back to the home. I would end up leaving home at 17. At the time of the event, I really did believe that my mom snapped from years of abuse. I truly believe that if these women can show that they were abused ( police reports, photo’s and wtinesses). They need to be set free. Enough is enough…let them out as they have already paid enough. By the way,today I am 50 and this subject is still not spoken about with my family. Silence is real.

  35. Liz Jorgensen says:

    I saw the film last night. I was impressed to say the least. I cried and my heart ached for you. Although I was not a victim of domestic violence, I am very close to a couple of people that went through it. One of them was my cousin who shot her husband to death, when he came home in a drunken rage attempting to beat her….again & again. She spent a couple years in prison in Virginia, awaiting her trial, but was found not guilty. She has 5 children & other family, who have stood by her the entire time. But their lives have not been the same since. I admire your courage and bravery through your horrific ordeals. I hope this film will bring more attention to domestic violence, especially regarding law enforcement and the court system. I do believe some laws have passed in some states that could help the abused, but it is still NOT ENOUGH!!! We have a long way to go. It is not fair!!!!

    God Bless all of you. I hope and pray you all have a chance at freedom.


  36. Liz Rademakers says:

    I’ve waited over two years to see this film. It was everything I expected and more. I take off my hat off to the ladies who told their stories openly and to those who allowed their voices to be heard. I visit a dear friend in prison every two weeks who was a victim of domestic violence for more than thirteen years. She is in prison serving a fifteen-year sentence conspiring to kill her spouse. No, the ex-spouse was never harmed. This is an totally innocent person who was imprisoned for something she never did. Having no adequate legal representation she accepted a plea deal. I am asking for a referral to or for available resources of lawyers who would be willing to represent my friend pro bono. This is a open and shut case where innocence can be readily established. Please contact me if you can help. Thank you!
    Liz Rademakers

  37. brenda says:

    hello ladies, you are all so empowering to me. i still can’t believe to this day no justice has been done for you. being in previous abusive relationships i find myself blessed to have been able to walk away however still suffer emotional scars from it. i try to live my life as an example for my daughter and teach her to be a strong young woman. even at four years old she says that the money she puts in her piggy bank is for college which fills my heart.sadly i have to fight for her because her father decide to fight for some rights to her even though he never calls for her unless he knows he can harass me when he does. sadly the judge forces me to bring her to him because he has never physically abused her, but i see how he psychologically abusing her by some comments that she makes when she leaves the supervised visits…. which are supervised by his sister. i see the abuse will continue through my daughter which breaks my heart. my only wish is that you ladies can speak to young girls who find themselves in the same relationships that you had. i feel that if you could speak to middle school or high school girls you could stop a cycle that has plagued so many women. good luck to you all and may God bless all of you.

  38. El James says:

    Hello to all of the powerful and wonderful women of CWAA!!! I am so happy that I have an avenue to contact you! I watched the documentary and it took my breath away. To think I could have been one of you so very easily had I not taken the steps I did to make SURE it couldn’t…it almost did when I nearly died in 1991, and then he came after in the hospital. I was cut open and literally couldn’t scream and have never been so scared in my life. I started pushing that nurse button like crazy and they came running, and he screamed at them that “I had done it all to myself!” Thank God they moved me immediately to a room right in front of the nurses station and then security had a pic of him distributed throughout the hospital. My mother was so very glad I didn’t have a gun at the time. But ENOUGH about me! You all are the most AMAZING women and you will always be in my prayers from this day forward. I cryed with each of you, I felt your pain. I don’t know HOW Glenda (I’m pretty sure it was Glenda, right?) stayed in an abusive relationship for 25 years. I don’t know how anyone could! You are a rock in my book. All of you really are. It is my hope that you ALL get out of that place and the sooner the better. Also especially that any of you who were tried before the laws were changed will get a chance for a new trial, I really believe it is fair and just. I hope so many of you will have a chance to walk away from prison when this happens for you. I don’t think sentences for crimes against violence in the home should be as long either. That goes either way gender wise. There are more women today who are the aggressors in an abusive situation, so it has to be both ways. But it’s not CLOSE nor will it ever be men abusing women. And the poor women whose husbands are cops…what do they do? It’s his word against hers! It’s sad. It’s the scariest thing I can possibly think of. I don’t know what or how I would do anything in that situation. I will send an angel for each and every one of you, there will be an extra one over each of you in a second…I died for 20 days last year, crazy…total major organ failure. I am disabled, I haven’t even been able to drive since 2004 (I am now just 49 & gettin younger!) but it’s a paragraph full and none really would kill me, mainly chronic pain. But I was throwing up so they think I must’ve inhaled some miniscule amount…so there I went. If I can make it thru that, I know my angels can help each of you in SOME way, ya know? I’ll write again, and feel free to write back if you see this thru all these. God Bless you, each and every one.
    El James

  39. Melissa says:

    Bless you all, I am a survivor of abuse mental, physical, and emotional. I was fortunate enough to get out with my 2 children and have been divorced 16 yrs this month. My ex is on his 3rd marriage of which all have suffered abuse. In fact the woman he is married to now was attacked by him just weeks after they married and my oldest son was there when it happened and stood up to him to protect this new wife, sadly enough she is still there. I work with some women who are in the same situation and just keep going back and this is very heart breaking to see. I will pray for all of you that the eyes of justice will open wide and you will be released. As I watched the documentary this morning I cried and a flood of memories came back. I had been punched and bitten told I was nothing and would never be nothing without him. I have worked in a factory for eleven years now and my 2 son’s have both graduated and are doing well. My oldest has become a machinist and my youngest is joining the Army. They were the reason I had the courage to leave. I didn’t want them growing up to be abusers or abused by anyone. My plans are to start my own business in the next few years as I love baking and cooking. I would like to know if you are allowed any care packages? If so what are the guidelines? Brightest of Blessing’s to you!


  40. Sherry says:

    Thank you all for your courage in telling your stories. I left my abuser and then found another, and another and another. After an abusive father, four abusive husbands and two abusive boyfriends I finally stopped dating completely in 1994. At one point in time I had a gun and if my 3rd husband had opened the door and come at me I would have shot him. It was 1973 and I would probably have gone to prison just like you all.

    I don’t have much but I’ll be writing and do whatever I can with my few resources to help any one of you.

  41. Glenda Crosley says:

    Dear Glenda Crosley,
    I saw my Mom through your eyes. She passed away at 54 in 1978 from cancer and a “broken heart.”
    Every day I go out into the world, knowing that we have know idea what it took each person that we pass or come in contact with, what they had to do to face another day.
    I’m one of nine kids that is now still broken at 58 years old.

  42. Brenda says:

    I recorded the show last week and just watched it. Words fail me right now. I don’t fall into the family history of abuse. My parents were married for over 50 years. I had a good childhood and given the best life. Lessons of life come and if you don’t take the time to step back, your life can make a bad turn.
    I was pretty, divorced and happy. A close friend introduced me to her guy’s friend. He was a nice guy, treated me great, bought me anything I wanted and SEEMED like a good catch. I dated him for two years and my family approved of him. Well, I married him and life was great for about six months, then things began to change slowly. First, I couldn’t go anywhere without him. He didn’t want me to work, he monitored my mail, slowly made me change my dress style – long dresses and hair in a bun. No, it didn’t happen fast, it was slowly taking control of my life. If the phone rang and the person hung up, I was accused of a man. If I put gas in the car, there had to be a man there that I was looking at or interested in. Within three years, I began to see that he had made me his prisoner and no one knew it but me and him! Everyone thought that he was a great guy! I had furs, diamonds and drove a new Mercedes! On the outside, he was the perfect guy. He took out a 500,000 dollar life insurance policy on me. I took the time to look at the entire picture and saw that I was in danger. I had to leave but I had to make him think that he was leaving me!! He filed for divorce and became a monster! I was in fear of my life but had to keep up the game and knew that I was running out of time! He did everything to destroy me mentally! I just held on! The day the judge granted the divorce, it was the beginning of hell because he knew I had set him up! For three years, I lived in fear! I moved in with my parents because I knew that he would not do anything in front of them! It has been 15 years and I still fear him. I watch where I go and who is around me. I don’t go out in public too much any more and have made peace that I got out just in time! We were heading for a place that someone’s life was about to be taken. I will never be free of him but I had the guts to plan and get out! Pay attention to what he does. It may not be love, it may be ownership! my family didn’t understand why I divorced such a nice guy. My mother still gave him information fir him to own me. I know what he is and that if I died, no one would question him. Stand up fir yourself and pay attention. You may be saving your own life. I don’t date and live a quiet life. I just can’t trust another man. I had enough the first time!

  43. Barbara Krepela says:

    I salute you for the terrific job in demonstrating the after affects of Domestic Violence and what it can come to. Without a doubt society needs educating, but seems to me we’re starting at the end and working backwards, ie. The women of the film felt forced to kill to be free from their abuser. I feel we’re going to reach more innocent “to be” victims by starting in the beginning, making a film showing just how exactly an Abuser does operate. Show the seduction period where he’s charming as he’s weaving his web luring his potential victim in. There are Red Flags during this period, and people need to be made aware. Most importantly people need to know victims are chosen by their abusers due to certain innocent traits most of us consider good traits which the Abuser is looking for to twist and manipulate, and that no one is exempt from becoming a potential victim. Show the Abuser in operation and how important it is to his Mask to fool the public – This is one of his/her most abusive acts towards his victim in being able to appear as Mr. Nice Guy so as she will not be believed, or feels as though she will not be believed.

    White Collar Emotional/Mental Abuse is HUGE in our society, and this issue needs to be addressed, brought out in the open. Expose the Abuser is what I’m asking for! Make the general public more aware of how exactly they do operate so when neighbors, friends, family members do see signs of the emotional/mental abuse, they’ll recognize and realize in their own minds 2 & 2 are not adding up. Everyone recognizes bruises, but the more sophisticated abusers know better than to leave finger prints. This is the abuse society needs to become more aware of, because this is the abuse which scars the victim the worse and is most apt to lead to killing, since police often are not able to help due to a lack of physical evidence.

    I feel so strongly about exposing the White Collar Abusers not that they are anymore important or abusive than non-White Collar, but I can testify to the fact that they are harder to get away from. My ex-husband was a Judge, and divorcing a Judge is like divorcing the Devil. Not impossible, but did almost cost me my life, and did require swallowing a lot of pride (which I feel keeps a lot of victims trapped), and going into hiding in a Domestic Violence shelter for a long, long, time. A decision I didn’t really want to make, but knew HAD to be made because it had come to a boiling point where it was him or me losing our lives due his addiction to abuse taking priority over everything else.

    I feel you could do a lot of good, not just explaining, but demonstrating how an abuser gets a high out of being abusive just like a drug addict. Show how their mind operates, and behind the scenes how they plot and plan their abusive acts down to the finest detail so as to cause the most mental anguish for their victims, without getting “caught” in what they do themselves. People don’t comprehend “the thrill of getting away with it” is the high for the abuser and the force behind making them want to do it again and again.

  44. S. Annette Austin says:

    Thank you for telling the truth. It brought back memories I can’t forget. He said he just saw red and couldn’t stop himself when he got angry. Never happened with other people… he’d just walk away. I gave myself all the excuses… it only happened once a year. He never hit me with a fist. He could be the most gentle loving caring person in the world. He died in an auto wreck when I was 25. I will never forget the abuse no matter how badly I want to.

  45. Pamela Bensinger says:

    I just saw the trailer for your movie. And I am in awe of watch of you. To do what you did and take back control is amazing. It shows strength and courage of all of you ladies.I applaud all of you. I wish that I could see the whole movie. However I live in Paducah Ky and have not heard of any showings of it in mt area.
    I to am a survivor of domestic violence. And I left that situation back in March of this year. I was in it for six years. However that was not the first abusive relationship that I was in. He made me think that there was no way out and that I would be out on the street if I left him. However that prove to be wrong. He told me that I would regret my decision and can’t him back. Not once have either one of those thoughts crossed my mind. I admit that I have had plenty of struggles since I left , however I have overcome them and have come out on top. For six years I was beaten, ridiculed, called eve foul name in the back. And many other things. I have had a broken arm several black eyes, and other injuries due to this man. I have lost several jobs because of him. And have lied to people about the injuries. He moved another woman into my home with her two children and expected me to take care of them. He found out that I was not going to do that.
    There is so much more to my story however I don’t have time to tell it all today. For I have to get ready to go to work. But I would like to say that for you ladies to be jailed for the rest of your lives for trying to save your own life and for fighting back is so wrong. The reason the do this is the system is made up mostly of men. And I fell that you ladies should be free. You would be an asset to society. All of you have a story to tell and you would help a lot of women who have been where a lot of us have been. I wish I had someone like you years ago to help me then I would not have made the same mistake three times over. Thank you ladies. And may God Bless you all and shine is light upon you.

  46. Melanie Jean says:

    My husband of 20 years is an expert button-pusher. He picked a fight. I got arrested for defending myself. I spent 3 days in jail [my worst nightmare], bailed out, and pleaded no contest. [Although I could’ve called several witnesses to describe how he has repeatedly picked fights with them as well. But if I lost the case I’d do a year or more in prison. I couldn’t risk that.] So, I’m on 3 years’ informal probation, paying heavy fines & fees, plus 40hrs community service [Habitat for Humanity ReStore], and a year of Domestic Violence classes. We watched your video in today’s meeting. Your message is clear: Get OUT. I will add that the “Law” will not protect victims of abuse- especially verbal/psychological abuse, where wounds and scars do not show. I can defend myself physically [and get arrested for it?!] but I can’t defend myself emotionally/mentally.

  47. Judith Reed says:

    I by chance to find your documentary this evening. I was in prison for 19 months…not for domestic violence per se, but in an effort to avoid ‘another night’, I had to enable my then husband’s drug addiction and add refills to the prescription for Vicodin I got from the emergency room because of injuries from a ‘bad’ night. He told me to alter the prescription-I had no choice…or else. I know many women in prison who are there for life or decades because they finally ‘stood up for themselves’ and killed their husbands. Life sentences regardless of the long list of 911 calls from the neighbors, calls they made themselves, emergency room visits ad infinium. The amazing thing? men generally get sentences of 10 years or lower because their crime murdering their wives was a ‘CRIME OF PASSION’ but that law does not extend to the BATTERED WOMEN.!!! I am in Texas, and it is especially harsh on the women. Please, direct me wherever I need to go to aid and free these women from the second prison they are in-yet finally feel free.

  48. Sandi says:

    I am clearing out files…..can somebody tell me if Theresa Cruz has been paroled?
    I remember how hard Theresa’s Mom fought for her daughter and set the example for other Mom’s to follow. Conspiracy is a bull crap charge….what really happened here is that the Judge, Prosecutor, and the Defense Attorney did not know how to apply the Battering Defense……another botched job!

  49. Sandi says:

    I am clearing out files…..can somebody tell me if Theresa Cruz has been paroled?
    What really happened here is that the Judge, Prosecutor, and the Defense Attorney did not know how to apply the Battering Defense……another botched job!

  50. Andrea says:

    I tuned into one of my favorite channels tonight to see what was on. I happened upon this movie. Such a powerful and moving film. I’m having trouble finding the words to use in order to express how thankful I am for these women sharing their stories. Although I did not suffer near the amount of torment these women surely did, I too was a victim of domestic violence. Your stories brought back memories of him and my life with him. Memories of the what seemed to be endless nights, hiding in the closets with the telephone in hand, praying to God that I didn’t make it through the night just to end the suffering because I felt so trapped that it seemed to be the only way out yet still wanting so badly to just survive…wondering what it was going to be this time that I had done and living in constant fear that something would set make him upset. I pray every day that these memories could be forgotten. However reliving them now and again, or should I say reflecting on them, gives me the chance to be truly thankful for what I have over come and who I have become. My past has left scars that will forever haunt me. Yet I feel a sense of pride in them as they remind me that I survived.

    I wanted to thank each and every person who was involved int he making of this film. God Bless you all.

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