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Oprah: How do you go on? Do you continuously live in fear? Are you always looking over your shoulder?

Jennifer: For a while, absolutely, you have that fight or flight [reaction]. One thing that helped me through it is that night I thought, "What am I going to do with all this? What am I going to do with what's happened to me?" And I thought, "I don't want this to ever, ever happen to any other woman. Ever. So I'm going to pray for [Gibson] that he gets healed, that God heals him so he never does this to another woman again." I thought, "He's going to get out someday. Rapists don't go to jail for life." So I prayed for him. I prayed for him that night; I prayed for him every day that God would heal him and change his heart and make him be, someday, a good citizen. And through that, I learned to forgive—not forget, not dismiss—but to forgive him in a way and that helped heal me.
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FROM: Held Hostage by the Accused Atlanta Spree Killer: How Ashley Smith Survived
Published on September 28, 2005

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