Below is just one example of how an abused childs life turned out. The community as a whole needs to come together and help these children before they end up like Danielle or worse.
Her name was Danielle; she was 32 years old but she looked as if she were 50. Her face was drawn and she looked pale and weak but her spirit was still quite spunky. Danielle was brought into my Pod at the Chatham county jail by an officer who seemed to know her very well. I thought it was odd at first because CO’s are rather distant to everyone; but after hearing Danielle’s story it became apparent why the CO was talking to her like an old friend.
She had been arrested 29 times starting at the tender age of 14. Her first arrest was for prostitution and drug possession at only 14 years old; a child. Danielle never had a real chance to enjoy life; not as a child nor adult.
Her mother was a crack addict that often shared her drugs with her children and when she ran out of money, she would send Danielle out to make more. Whether it be prostitution, pick-pocketing or robbery, Danielle had been taught nothing other than the negatives of how to survive.
After being assigned a cell, Danielle’s new celly went to the CO and complained. She did not want to bunk with her; in fact, no one did. Danielle, as I found out had full blown AIDS and everyone was afraid to be in the same cell with her.
I volunteered to be her cell mate and we quickly became friends. Her story was a tragic one and one I will never forget as long as I live. As I told you above, she was pimped out at a very young age and basically grew up on crack cocaine and prostitution which is how she got AIDS.
At the age of 16 Danielle was found by the side of the road very near death after being continually raped with a stick. She had been tortured and left for dead tied to a tree. Somehow she managed to get herself loose and crawl to the road but only by the grace of God did she survive.
Now here she was; back in jail for the 30th time (yes, 30th time) and looking at more prison time. Like so many child abuse stories this one doesn’t have a happy ending.
Daniel died alone in a prison bed with no family and only a life of pain and tragedy to take with her. It was my honor to be her friend and to this day I wear a cross around my neck that she gave me two days before she passed away.
She told me that because of me and our studying together (the bible), that she was no longer afraid to die. She never had the opportunity as a child to learn about Jesus or any good things in life; only what her mother had put her through. She thanked me for being her friend and then she left this world in peace; something she never knew as a child.
So many children end up just like Danielle or worse. They inhabit our streets and many people just pass right by without a thought to that child. It is hard to believe that a parent would abuse their young child but it happens every minute of everyday.
Next time you see a teen on the street who may appear as a thug; think of the story of Danielle and know that this teen may not have a choice unless we take a stand as a community and help them.