Self-esteem: Flower struggles to break through cracked pavement.

Low Self-esteem, Feeling Alone Let the Gangs, Streets Shape Me

I am 38 years old. I have been incarcerated almost 15 years now. I have a sentence of LWOP (life without parole) plus 25 to life for a first-degree murder with drive-by enhancement. I was raised in the Bay Area on the Oakland side of the water. My family was big. Dad’s side was Mexican, mom’s side was white.

I Was One of the ’47 Percent’

My shaky marriage disintegrated one night in a flurry of 911 calls. My husband ripped the phone out of the wall, preventing me from calling the police. Instead he called the domestic violence counselor who ordered him to leave our home immediately. My husband drove off into the night with the burnt rubber smell wafting into the night. Living with him over the past year had become akin to living in a tiger’s den.

Abusive Teenage Relationships on the Rise

Thompson High School student Shakira Hudson was 15 when she was killed.  Audrey Atkinson of Covington was 19. Jasmine Harris of Atlanta was 17 and pregnant. All three died in 2010. Boyfriends or ex-boyfriends were charged with their murders. The girls' deaths were among 130 recorded by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the 2010 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Report, the largest number of such homicides since the first annual report in 2003.