Janice Clark Smith

Janice Clark Smith says her father was a monster. "My daddy was a very sick, disturbed, perverted molesting monster. I can't remember a time in my life that my father wasn't angry or abusive to me or my mother or my siblings."

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."
Victims of Molestation Sherri and Glenda

Janice's sisters Sherri and Glenda were equally afraid of their father, and don't regret his murder. "I was surprised that Janice was the actual one that did it," Sherri said. "She was the one that was most afraid of my father and never fought back."

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."
Martha, Sherri, Glenda and Oprah

Though the sexual, physical and verbal abuse was most often directed at her daughters, Martha felt she had no choice but to stay in the abusive situation. "By the time I realized I needed to leave," Martha said, "I had a house full of kids. I didn't have any job training, because he wouldn't let me. And I couldn't drive. He wouldn't let me drive.

"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."
Molestation victim Angelina

Andrew molested his stepdaughter Angelina for seven years. Angelina says that everything in her life changed when she was 9 years old, on the day her stepfather came into her bedroom. She says that it has affected every part of her life—emotionally, mentally and physically.

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.
Convicted Molester Andrew

Andrew was convicted of first-degree child molestation and he spent six months in jail. Andrew is still married to Angelina's mother and he is now on probation and has been prohibited from contacting Angelina. They live at opposite ends of the country and they have not seen each other since he was taken away in handcuffs. Today, they meet face-to-face for the first time since he went to jail.

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.
Angelina, Andrew and Oprah

Andrew explains that child molestation is a very planned, calculated act by the adult and takes months or even years to gain a child's trust enough to take action. So, does he fear he'll molest again?

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.
Actress Kimberly Elise

A searing new film Women Thou Art Loosed takes us inside the human wreckage caused by sexual molestation. It is the haunting story of a woman, played by Kimberly Elise, trying to move past the life-altering sexual abuse she endured as a child.

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.
T.D. Jakes and Kimberly Elise

Based on the Sunday School classes and book by Bishop T.D. Jakes, he plays himself in the film. Bishop Jakes has become a mighty force of healing for thousands and thousands of women—all races, all ages, all walks of life—who have been abused.

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.
T.D. Jakes, Kimberly Elise, and Oprah

Oprah: And so Women Thou Art Loosed, what does that mean?

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.
FROM: I Shot My Molester
Published on October 01, 2004


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