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When I was 16 years of age I became involved with a guy who would later become the father of my son. He was 5 years older than me but lied about his age. He was verbally, physically and mentally abusive. After enduring this abuse for years, I left him only to find another boyfriend who was equally abusive. I had low self esteem and couldn’t see the warning signs of an abusive mate. On 2/28/1996 the new boyfriend had a fight. I blacked out during the fight due to battered women’s syndrome and fought my abuser back. I struck him with my car after he punched me several times in the face thru my car window. He suffered minor scratches which is in the police report but I ended up being charged with Aggravated Battery with Great Bodily Harm. I have went to school for many different medical certificates only to be denied employment based onĀ  my charge. I applied for and was granted my Civil Rights restored but that only entitles me to the right to vote and not the rights of the average American citizen. My charge is now 17 years old but I am still reaping the negative effects as if I had been sentenced today. It has been 12 years since I was released from all probation related to this one felony. I have one felony and one misdemeanor both occurring in 1996. I have remained crime free since the committing of these charges but I am not free to the rights of any other citizen. I can not work in the profession that I received training in nor can I live the American Dream because of a mistake that I made when I was 18 years of age. I am now 35. I do believe in 2nd chances and wish that I could be given one as well.

User story by Bernetta W. in Florida

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  1. bren says:

    I understand what your going through 7yrs of abuse. I pressed charges many times for DA to drop but when I freaked out after he broke my nose and gave him a concussion I was charged with mis A family violence charge in 2001. I cant use my criminal justice degree and I have a hard time finding a job. He was charged with nothing that night. Go figure. Prayers for you.

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