Saturday, October 11, 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Hello everyone, my heart is heavy tonight and I tried yesterday to post something, but my laptop has problems and deleted it all about the time I was getting finished. Must not have been meant for that one to go. I guess you could say my heart is heavy for several reasons. My son who was murdered almost 23 years ago by a man who had been arrested for wife abuse, child abuse and suspected of killing 2 other children other than mine, his birthday was October 6th, he would have been 29 years old. My birthday was on September 27th just a few days before and my mothers was October 2nd. I lost her 3 years after my son. This month hasn't gotten off to a good start. My daddy who is 78 years old went in the hospital the 29th of September throwing up blood, later was admitted to CCU with a diagnosis of a bleeding ulcer. We came closer to losing him than we ever have, my step mother who has been battling gastroperethis for years, has had several stomach surgeries, and now her stomach is one huge hernia, was admitted to the hospital the day they let my daddy go home. She now has an esophagus problem that has to be fixed soon. Hernia's no doctor will touch anymore because she has no stomach muscles at all. Both are home and daddy is getting stronger, but my step mother will still have to have the esophagus surgery soon. My friend Leatha was supposed to go in the hospital September 18th for a herniated disk in her neck and have surgery, instead she went in with severe stomach pain only to find out she has Lymphoma. One month later she is still in the hospital, now in ICU on a ventilator with fluid in her lungs and they can't do Chemo at all because it makes her worse. So if you don't mind please keep all my family and her family in your prayers. Now for the reason for my blog. As you know its Domestic Violence Awareness month, a very sensitive subject for alot of people, a world wide problem thats rarely talked about and highly misunderstood. As I said 23 years ago my son was murdered by an abuser of women and children. Back then there was no education on battered women, no understanding and no smypathy either. I as well as my mother inlaw at the time was there at the time the incident took place but I was unable mentally to stop it. Because of that fact, I too was arrested. The DA said he knew I had nothing to do with what happened and wasn't charging me for what I did, but what I didn't do which was to act at the time it happened. Long story short, I stayed in jail 2 weeks and was released to undergo counseling. 2 years later I was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison. I did 71/2 years and was released on parole. The DA said he was using me as an example as to what happens to women who stay in abusive relationships. Before I went to prison, my counselor suggested that I write down my feelings and the things I could remember about what happened for my trial. My writing continued after I went to prison and later was material I would use to write my book "A Time To Heal: The Struggles Of A Battered Woman." My book has been out since 2011 and as you would guess, its hard to get attention when you are a first time author unless of course you are popular already. My book targets several different types of people. Of course those who are going through, have gone through, or know someone who is going through an abusive situation. Also, those who have lost loved ones at the hands of an abuser or just in general. It targets teenagers in highschool and helps them to realize that we live our lives by the choices we make and all it takes is one mistake to ruin the rest of your life. It targets all people who are dating, starting to date, or just waiting for the right person to come along. I talk about the importance of taking your time to get to know someone, knowing the signs of a potential abuser, and the importance of getting out of that relationship if you see those signs. It speaks to those who are in prison, have been released from prison, and the families involved because our decisions and what we go through not only affects us but it affects those we love. I don't claim to be anybody special, and I don't think I'm any better than anybody else, I just want to help other women and other people not have to go through the pain I've been through in my life because of my choices. If you've been following my post on face book you know I've been posting a message about the Authors Show. I joined that contest in hopes of spreading the word more about my book. If you haven't done so, please click on my page and go to the bottom where it says vote now. It then takes you to another page, you click on my name then go to the bottom where it says submit. I appreciate all the votes I can get. I'm asking everyone who believes that domestic violence is a problem, whether you know someone who has been abused or not to please vote for me. If my story can save the life of one person whether it be man, woman or child then my son will not have died in vain. I appreciate all of your prayers for my daddy, step mother and my friend Leatha. Thanks and God Bless. Oh and I will be at the Christmas festival in Jonesboro next month on the 29th and at the Christmas festival in Clarks on the 15 of next month. Hope to see you there. Thanks and God Bless.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

WILL THIS NIGHTMARE EVER END? April 7, 20 years ago I got up, got dressed in my new clothes my Aunt had made for me, and headed to a courthouse 2 hours away. Only God knew what would happen this day. We were all very confident that things would be ok, after all God was in control, he had heard our prayers and we would all be headed home shortly after we arrived. After sitting there waiting for what seemed like an eternity, they finally called my name. As I stood there before the judge, confident that all was well, the next few words that came from his mouth were the hardest words I would hear. I hear-by sentence you to 21 years hard labor in the department of corrections with sentence to begin immediately. The deputy's immediately rushed to my side, handcuffed and shackled me right there in front of my family then led me away to the jail next door. All I remember was the voice of my mama screaming wait here's her purse. I had no idea that day where this journey was going to take me or just how long it would last. All I knew was I loved my little boy with all my heart and I knew I wasn't guilty of murder or manslaughter which is what they convicted me of. You see 2 years before this horrible day, my 6 year old son was murdered by my ex-husband. It wasn't until I was arrested myself that I found out that he had been arrested for wife abuse, child abuse and suspected of killing 2 other children other than my son. The lieutenant told me that the DA said he knew I had nothing to do with what happened and he wasn't charging me with what I did but what I didn't do and that was act at the time of my sons death. What kind of mother would stay with a man who was abusing her and her child? I asked myself that question and many more over and over again. I knew the kind of mother I was before I met this man. I loved my son with all my heart and was actually over protective of him. Well no matter what the answer was to this question and the many more that I had, I now had plenty of time to think about it. My ex-husband had been found guilty of murder and given the death penalty. The DA said he was using me as an example as to what happens to women who stay in abusive relationships. It was all so hard to believe. As they led me to the jail and got me settled they let my family come see me one more time before they went home. I can't describe the feeling I had, as I stood there behind a glass looking at the pain on my mama and daddy's face and the fear of not knowing what I was going to face. As we said our goodbyes my cousin came to the glass window and read me a scripture that God had given her to share with me. It was 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. I had no idea that day that the next 7 years of my life would be spent in prison. I've been home now for almost 14 years, this tragedy happened 23 years ago. My ex-husband has been on death row all this time, and has had numerous stays of execution. 2 years ago my case was on the front page of the newspaper. The headlines read 20 Years ago today. I couldn't believe after all this time that this would be front page news again. I wondered why, is this just a ploy of the devil to get me down, and discourage me, of course this is what he wants to do to all of us who are trying our best to serve God with all of our hearts. Not long after the article came out there was another article, this time setting another date for execution. Ever since then he has been given more stays. He has filed suit against the Governor, the state of Louisiana and God only knows who else. Each time somebody listened and all I could think about was his words to me years ago when I met him. "I can talk my way into and out of anything he said." Don't get me wrong, life and death is in God's hands and he will have the final say. Does he know the Lord? Well when I met him he was lifting his hands and praising God in front of people and beating me and my son behind closed doors. He's had 23 years to get things right with God, and truly only God knows where he stands today. From what I've heard from a couple preachers who have visited him in the last 2 years they said he was the biggest con artist they had ever seen in their lives. I've been contacted by reporters, and have done several tv and radio interviews since they have been trying to execute him these past 2 years. How do I feel about the execution is the main question? Well the bible speaks of the death penalty several times in the bible, but as for me, I forgave him years ago. I had no choice but to forgive him, I knew that I was never going to heal until I was able to forgive. If you would have asked me this question right after my sons death of would have said kill him, as quick as you can. The only thing I want now is for them to make up their minds what they are going to do. It seems that the only reason they can't set a date to execute is because of the drug they plan to use. Its what they call cruel and unusual punishment to make him suffer for a few minutes before he dies. It doesn't matter what he did, not only to me and my son but to many other women and their children. The fact is 23 years after the fact we should not still be debating on what to do about someone who has tortured women and children, his fate should have been decided and carried out a long time ago. As for me, I have relived this nightmare over and over again. I wrote a book that was released in 2011 called A Time To Heal The Struggles of A Battered Woman. It tells my story from beginning to the end and I am doing all I can to help educate women all over the world on the signs of a potential abuser, and how to tell when someone is being abused. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other what they do with him, I pray he has made peace with God, I just want them to decide one way or the other. This just tells anybody out there who is committing crimes that as long as they keep filing suit against people, they can put their punishment off for a long time. For those of you who know about abuse you understand and know what its like. I've had many people tell me, "I would have done this and I would have done that." The fact is you may think you would have reacted a certain way, but you never know what you will do in a situation until you are faced with it. Don't pass judgement on a person if you've never walked in their shoes. April 7th they were planning another hearing to talk about the drug that was going to be used to execute him. They denied the hearing. They are supposed to be setting another date for the execution, maybe sometime in May. Until then, I will wait and continue to do my best to share my story. I'm asking for anyone who has read my book to please tell someone else, if you haven't read it, please do. Abuse is something that happens every day to many women and children and its so misunderstood. You can visit my website at or contact me personally through my email on my website. I am available for speaking engagements so feel free to contact me. May God bless each and every one of you.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My response to the article in last Saturday's paper about Chris Sepulvado's execution. Hello my name is Yvonne Jones, Author of a Time to Heal the Struggles of a Battered Woman. I'm writing in reference to the article printed on Sat. January 25, concerning Christopher Sepulvado's execution. It simply amazes me what our country has come to. This man has been on death row for 22 years, and still to this day wants somebody to have sympathy enough for him to keep him from having any pain a few short minutes before he dies. I know for a fact that his man was arrested for wife abuse, child abuse, and suspected of killing 2 other children before he was arrested for the murder of this child. He had also been arrested for numerous DWI's, and was at that time driving without a driver’s license. They had been suspended because of those DWI's. There was also a child in a mental institution who was unable to function because of the abuse he sustained from this one man. My question is where was the law when he committed all these crimes? Why was he considered to be just a good ole boy who can't stay out of trouble simply because as he put it "I can talk my way into and out of anything." Don't get me wrong, everybody deserves a second chance, but when you've had as many chances as he's had and still after 22 years on death row his only concern is how much pain he's going to endure for the few short moments before he dies, then it tells me the only thing that changed while he was locked up was the fact that he got older and that’s it. What about the pain and death he caused the people he abused. Louisiana is one if not the main state with the highest crime rate. Its because people like him are able to convince the law that they're pretty good guys, they just have a few problems they need to deal with. The problem is abuse like this didn't just start, its been going on for years now and until people get educated on what to look for in someone who is abusive, and women learn to look for those signs before getting involved with someone, then this cycle will never end. Children don't have a choice in the people we choose to get involved with or marry, but their opinions are usually the last to get heard, if they are heard at all. Abuse is something no one wants to talk about, but the problem is its happening everyday all around us and nobody including the law understands it. Unless you've been in an abusive relationship you won't understand how easy it is to get involved with an abuser, or how hard it is to get out the longer you stay once you are involved. I'm sorry but the reason we have such a high crime rate is people like him know that they can get away with murder, or anything else for years before anything is ever done to them. Why is this one case so important to me, because this was my son he murdered, and I too had to go to prison for 7 and 1/2 years because there was no understanding about abuse and what happens to a person mentally while they are enduring abuse. I too suffered at the hand of this man and my family as well as my son’s family is still suffering today. It’s just sad that after 22 years you can't set a date for an execution because nobody wants the poor guy to suffer a few minutes before he dies.