Read: A letter from an inmate

Published: 20 February 2014

This letter was written to a V-Activist and survivor after her first visit to teach “Break the Chain” to a group of men in San Quentin who wanted to Rise.

Dear Susanne,

I hope this note finds you in good health and spirit.

I have been thinking for a few days now, of what I would say after your visit last week. First, I would like to thank you for sharing your story with us, I know it was not easy for you to do. I was very moved by your strength and courage to open up and share such a horrible time in your life, with a group of strangers. I was very touched and I could feel the depth of your pain, like it was mine. I have had similar things happen to me and people in my own family. I have been a victim and an abuser.

I am here in San Quentin for domestic violence. When you talked with us I felt so ashamed, I felt like a coward for what I did. I never realized the pain I caused my wife and her family. I never thought about how much my actions could affect someones life, and the way they live. You would think I should have known just from my own experiences. There is no excuse for hurting anyone, especially a woman.  I pray one day my wife and her family can forgive me for the pain I caused, I hope I can forgive myself. Today, I ask you to forgive me for being an abuser, that is not my authentic self. Thank you for opening my eyes! and showing me the results of my actions. I promise you from this day forward, I will never hurt another woman in anyway and I will dedicate my life to helping victims of domestic violence. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully yours