I Shot My Molester
After suffering a lifetime of sexual and emotional abuse, Janice learned that he was doing the same to her own daughter and became enraged. "He fondled her, he felt her, he tried to penetrate her. I wanted to kill him." She sought help from the police, yet, "he only stayed in jail two, maybe three days."
Then she learned her mother had cancer. "Something hit me and I was like, 'This is not going to happen anymore,'" Janice said. "'My mother's dying and she is going to have some peace in her life.' I went down to my daddy's. I said, 'God, if you don't want me to kill him, let those doors be locked.'
"I got down at his feet and I was begging and pleading with him, 'Daddy, why are you doing this? Why won't you straighten up? Because mama needs you right now.'
"I recall him standing in the hall as I picked up my gun and pointed it at him. He did not try to get it away from me. Then I started pulling the trigger. It hit him in the chest and he fell on his back and he said, with this devil voice, what I called it, 'You done it now.' And I said, 'Yes, Daddy, I did.' And I shot him again."
After being sentenced to seven years in prison, Janice said, "I know it was the wrong thing to do, to take law into my own hands, but I wanted peace for my family."
In fact, Glenda says, she also thought of killing him herself. "Especially after Mama got sick, I thought about putting a can of gasoline under his lit cigarette because he always dropped cigarettes, when he was drinking, in the floor, while they were burning."
Their anger didn't recede, even after he was dead. Seeing him in his casket at the funeral made Glenda "mad, because he looked like he was laying there smiling. He actually looked too good. I mean, we're used to seeing him laying on the floor drunk, you know? I wanted to just hit him."
"I just thought and thought about it a long time and I decided that we did have a roof over our heads and the best thing I could do was stay there and protect my kids the best I could. And I knew that's what it would be if I took them out. There wasn't the kind of help that you can get nowadays. I didn't have anywhere to go."
Glenda and Sherri say they understand the terrible decision their mom had to make. "She did what she had to do," Glenda explained. "We don't blame her one bit for, you know, staying in it. You couldn't get help like you can now."
Angelina: I do not recall anything from my childhood except for the traumatic things. I drank. I did drugs. I tried to commit suicide. They had put me in a mental institution. It's been about four or five years and I do want to see my stepfather. I feel that I deserve some answers. … Emotionally, I couldn't attach to any man. I couldn't trust any. It's still hard to trust my husband. Sexually it's very hard to, you know, do a sexual act with my husband, because you get, like, flashbacks."
Oprah: But more than that, I think it's really important for people to understand that it's not just about the sex. What it does is, and tell me if this is true for you, it makes you feel, once you realize that this is wrong, it makes you feel ashamed of yourself. Is that correct? It makes you feel like you were a bad person and a bad girl.
Angelina: It makes you feel worthless and that you deserved it.
Andrew: I am nervous and I have a weight being lifted off of me right now, because I've got some things I've needed to say this poor young lady for a long time. …You know what I would like to say first, Angelina, I am so sorry for what I did to you. I took your love, your trust and, most importantly, your innocence, and I betrayed you in the ugliest way. I wish I could take the hurt from you. I really do. I know I can't. But, I'm proud of you for being here. And you're terrific. I think you're gonna be great. A great woman. Thank you.
Angelina: Thank you. I want to know why. Why did you do it?
Andrew: You know, in my mind, I was looking for love. I was looking for acceptance. I found it in the innocence of a child. You. I felt loved by you in a way that I can barely explain. And I used you to make me feel better.
Andrew: Actually, you know, I don't, because of treatment and because all I see is that last look on Angelina's face. Can I speak to her for just a second?
Oprah: Please do.
Andrew: You are one of the driving forces behind the fact that I am in treatment. I saw the look on your face. I read the letters that you sent me. I don't want to put that on anyone else ever again. I am working very hard. You know the very best thing that I can do for you is to change me, so that you and I both know I will not do this again. I can't put what I did to you on anyone else. That's what I'm looking so hard to do. I want to give someone else out there a chance to never go through what you went through.
Oprah: Why was it important for you to play this role, Kim?
Kimberly: I read the script and it was so powerful and so brave and honest, and I felt what an honor for me to have the chance to bring a face and a voice and a physical being to spirits who I know have been silenced and have not been given the chance to vocalize and externalize this life experience. If I could be a part of that, then how could I not?
Oprah: I know you've been to Pastor Jakes' healing ceremonies and hear these stories today. What do you feel when you realize that, you're playing a character, but for Angelina and so many millions of others who are watching, this is a real story?
Kimberly: We did the film in 12 days and those are some of the darkest 12 days of my life. And I realized that it does not begin to compare to living a lifetime of that reality. And I knew that doing it. And I felt a sense of responsibility to go as deep as I could.
Oprah: Pastor Jakes, I understand that this started from a real-life class that you have at church?
Bishop Jakes: Very much so. It actually emanated from a counseling session. I counsel these women going through these traumas and I began to find out we're dealing with an epidemic…. The stats have escalated over the years as I began to work in this area. It transcends all barriers. I think sometimes we limit it to a particular group of people, but there is no stereotypical person, age, color, ethnicity. It transcends education, academics. It's literally an epidemic. We've translated the book into four different languages. It's not just an American problem. It's a worldwide epidemic.
Bishop Jakes: Women Thou Art Loosed is a phrase coined out of scriptures, Luke 13, where Jesus is ministering in an open synagogue and he sees a woman who is bowed over and twisted for 18 years and couldn't lift herself up. He saw her, he called her and he spoke to her, and he said, "Woman, thou art loosed." It deals with liberation from past traumas that says you can be free.