ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

A 9 y.o. Alabama child is alleged to have been run to death as punishment for lying about a candy bar. Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours around and around her home, carrying 10 lbs. of wood. Authorities are uncertain whether she was physically or verbally coerced.

The girl was being punished for lying about eating the chocolate forbidden to her because of a medical condition. Savannah’s grandmother and stepmother have been charged with her murder.

“Savannah” is such a beautiful name. It evokes lace fans and languorous summer days, Spanish moss trailing from live oaks. But Savannah did not get the chance to live up to her name. Her beauty was snuffed out.

Still, in a way, she stands for the rest of us. We may survive abuse, but all too often we continue to punish ourselves for having been victimized. Around and around…

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