Saturday, October 9, 2010

Be A Hero For Sara

Today,  YOU have the opportunity to be a hero in the life of Sara Kruzan…a survivor of human trafficking. The daughter of a drug addict, at age 11 Sara was first introduced to a then 31-year old man who began conditioning /brainwashing her for exploitation. At 13, he first raped her then forced her into prostitution. After 3 years, Sara snapped and shot him. Years before the passage of the TVPA, Sara was sentenced to life without parole. Now 32, Sara has spent half of her life in prison and has requested Governor Schwarzenegger to invoke his discretionary authority to commute her sentence in her pending clemency plea. Consistently, Sara has proven to be a model prisoner; she completed her college degree during incarceration and has experienced unparalleled personal growth.


Read Sara’s story. Included below is an excerpt from her letter to the governor and links to well-researched media coverage about Sara. U.S. residents from all states and territories are encouraged to sign the electronic petition while personal letters to Gov. Schwarzenegger from the global community will have greatest impact on Sara’s behalf. I’ve posted the letter I wrote and will continue posting letters from compassionate friends who have shared their letters with me for YOU to use as an example.


Sara’s plea, in her own words, follows.
“My Life began on January 8, 1978, in Los Angeles, California. I was born to a mother who brought me into this world unwed and unsure of her decision to keep me. I grew up in Monrovia, California, in a two bedroom duplex directly across the street from my elementary school. I have fond memories of entering a drawing contest, riding my bike and learning how to cut roses the right way from my elderly neighbor. As I write this letter though, my happy memories are far and few in between, I cannot move forward until I can express what I must sincerely convey.”


“My childhood memories are a reminder to me that George Howard was a father himself. That he had a son and his son no longer has a father because of my actions. George was a son himself and what I have done and the remorse I feel will never go away, nor do I wish it to. I feel a deep set sorrow for taking George's life. It is daily I experience a level of grief and sadness in my heart and in my thoughts. However, as I mentioned I do not want this emotion to go away. It is a part of who I am today and I have utilized it to grow in a healthy manner. It is through the aid of intense therapy, self help groups and inspiration readings such as "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl.”


“Through these inner struggles, it became a challenge for me that the feelings of remorse I hold for George are also for the young child I once was who was abused on many levels by him. I really want this letter to be about the person I am today, rather than about the pain and abuse I suffered in the past. But I know that abuse still remains a part of who I am today. I endured mental and physical abuse from my mother at a very early age. I also was sexually abused by many people. This includes George Howard, who first sexually assaulted me when I was eleven years old and who began sexually trafficking me when I was thirteen years old. This continued until I was 16 years old. I was two months past my sixteenth birthday when I shot and killed George.”


“When I first arrived at Central California Women's Facility I was eighteen years old and unsure of my new home. I carried within me the pain and rage from my past. There was a struggle inside me though that wanted to develop. There was a young Sara who was the track runner, student body president and person who even wrote about Drugs and its Effects that wanted to grow. However in prison without strong guidance it’s easier to let emotions of pain and anger out. After several years of my incarceration that strong guidance found me. Her name is Lt. Z. Cooper. What she did was plant seeds of encouragement. Her words gave me the strength I needed to desire to no longer feel empty inside. I discovered many positive outlets for myself. More self help groups were offered and I signed up for them. There groups helped me set healthy boundaries for myself. Even though I cannot change the blue print of my past, but I am able to build a foundation that's planted within.”


“Today at thirty-two years old I am not a victim. And that young girl I felt inside me before has grown and developed and is able to express herself in the woman I am today. And the woman I am today is able and capable of making healthy choices for myself. No longer will I compromise who I am for others. Today I can and do lead a life of example for others. If I am given the opportunity to rejoin society I know I will make the most of it. Just like I have made the most and continued to make the most of my life here. I am requesting a commutation of my sentence based on my history of abuse, my youthful age and vulnerability at the time of the crime and because of the person I am today. It is with love I seek to be forgiven, it is with love I have forgiven all who have hurt me. I sincerely request to be forgiven for the harm and pain I have caused. I appreciate this opportunity to have the time to explain a bit about myself to you and respectfully request a grant of clemency.”


I know Sara is a hero and a powerful advocate whose ordeal has not been in vain. Join me now, in advocating on her behalf… as a personal favor to me. What if she were your child, your sister or niece? Urge Governor Schwarzenegger to liberate Sara as part of his legacy. Collectively, we hold the power to influence Gov. Schwarzenegger’s consideration. Step up and take time to show that you care and what you stand up for. As of 10/6 there were 1,175 signatures on the electronic petition. Message me with your signature number… better yet, copy me the letter you mail with your consent for me to include it as a sample for other concerned citizens. Thank you, in advance. Your awareness, interest and action is crucial and genuinely appreciated.


Survivor On A Mission is in pre-launch of Heroes In Training which empowers ordinary and extraordinary people around the world to be heroes, saving or transforming lives. Visit www.HeroesInTraining.info or www.SurvivorOnAMission.org for additional information and share in a blessed week ahead.http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/about/TVPA_2000.pdf

2 comments:

Nanakoosa said...

Wow, what a moving story, thank you for sharing this. Knowing what we know today about the effects of trauma I am hopeful that her request will be granted. I will write a letter to the Governor myself, speaking as both a Survivor and as a professional who has counseled victims/survivors of childhood sexual trauma. I will also post a link on my blog and webpage encouraging others to do the same.
Thank You for this,
Jenny

NurseVi said...

Thank you Pam. This is a powerful message and reality check for us all. Your "Hero's" are great! We need so many more! God Bless You!



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Teenage girls are being snatched and tricked into turning tricks. Easy prey for pimps, they're forced into sex slavery and moved from state to state, locked in a nightmare. Meet some heroes who are doing something about it in this video report., FOX