With three young children from different fathers, Crystal was desperately overwhelmed. She disciplined the same way she had learned from her mother – with a paddle.
Upon seeing bruises, a family member called the police. Two years later, Crystal and her husband pled guilty to two felony counts of ‘child abuse or neglect’, with 7 year sentences… each. Crystal was relieved to be given 5 years SIS probation, which means after successful probation, her felony record will be erased.
Her children were taken away and placed with a family friend.
A local church suggested Crystal check out The Embassy, a home for women trying to rebuild their lives. Spending 9 months at The Embassy, Crystal learned alternative coping methods.
Crystal enrolled in community college and learned to be a responsible adult. She built new friendships which created stability. Today, she and her husband have a strong, Christian marriage and are buying their first home.
Three years after her arrest, Crystal’s youngest two children were returned to her care. She admits to being afraid to discipline them at first. Though they struggled setting boundaries, they are now a healthy family and her children are succeeding in school and life.
Crystal says, “When my kids were taken away, I knew my world was over. But look at us now!”
When asked about her sentence, Crystal shares, “I knew I was wrong but I didn’t feel like I was guilty of a crime. I just didn’t know how to be an effective parent.”
Crystal takes responsibility for her actions and is excited for the future.