If Tracie ever sees this blog I just want to tell her. “I always believed you. I always supported you. I never doubted a word you said.”
Below are links to Tracie’s story.
1989. In short, she was abused by her father, cried out for help, no one listened, she had to defend herself. She went to court where she was failed by the system, convicted of murder, and sentenced.
1995. Her sentence was commuted by the Governor along with other abused women who acted in self defense.
Although we are both from Louisville, KY and the same age I’ve never met Tracy. We went to different schools. Having escaped the abuse and it still being fresh I felt that if they wouldn’t listen to her then I certainly wouldn’t have been listened to, in the event that I would have done what she did. The prosecution seemed bound and determined to make her out to be a liar.
Q. Why am I bringing Tracie up?
A. Because while I was being abused, 1971-1986. I thought constantly about doing exactly what she did to get out of the abuse. I was never sexually abused. I was pyscially, verbally, emotionally, and mentally abused. In 1986 a loaded gun was placed to the right side of my head by my abuser when I was 14. If I could have turned the gun around on to my abuser and pulled the trigger I would have been in Tracie’s situation on a murder charge and in a Jefferson County courtroom as a minor.
Q. Am I condoning what Tracie did?
A. I am not condoning what Tracie did. I do understand she was pushed to a breaking point and past her limits. I understand that if someone feels they’ve done everything they could do within humanly possible realms, and still feels unsupported that it can get to this point. I understand that enough is enough and it has to stop. I also understand that if someone is constantly tormenting or bothering someone else in inappropriate ways that it can cause someone to snap.
Q. What has changed since Tracie’s trial?
A. Because of her, child abuse has been studied more than it was. It’s on the records now, in 2014, to place a new syndrome that would work to protect battered children who act in self defense. It would work much like the Battered Women Syndrome.
Tracie and people like her helped this to come about. Future children who find themselves in this situation will now have some support to state their case.
Tracie’s story is not unique nor is she the only one. There were several people before her who defended themselves and there are people after her who will do the same.