‘Look What You’ve Turned Us Into’: The Roots of Women’s Shame

By Nadia Owusu, New York Times | June 8, 2022

Stoneleigh Fellow Sara Kruzan recently published a memoir featured by the New York Times.

By age 11, Sara Kruzan had endured terrible abuse. Her mother was violent and used racist slurs against her (Kruzan’s mother is white, her father Black). She was first molested at 5, by her mother’s friend. Kindness from adults was rare. So, when a man in a red Mustang offered her ice cream one day, she accepted, hoping he’d save her. As she writes in I CRIED TO DREAM AGAIN: Trafficking, Murder, and Deliverance: A Memoir (200 pp., Pantheon, $27), instead that man — whom she calls G.G. — groomed, raped and trafficked her for sex for years. At 16, manipulated once more by her abusive teenage boyfriend, Kruzan shot G.G. in the back of the head, killing him.

The police, the district attorney and the judge on her case were all unsympathetic to Kruzan’s trauma. During her trial, evidence against her abusers, including G.G., was disallowed, and she felt powerless to defend herself. Before she turned 18, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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