When Dorothy was seven, she started washing her own clothes. Never mind that she couldn't reach the dials; she just climbed on top of the machine. She has two fathers and doesn't know which is her biological one. One remains in prison, and the other got out but has never visited, bought a Christmas gift or sent a birthday card -- and he even lived in the same apartment complex at one time.
Then her mother met a new man. "Everybody knew he was no good, but she was blinded by him," Dorothy says. He forced her to quit cheerleading and prohibited Dorothy, her sister and two brothers from leaving the house or watching TV. He beat Dorothy's mother and her little brother, stripping him naked once and holding a gun to his penis. Dorothy's mother married him anyway. Last year he kicked Dorothy and her oldest brother out of the house. "Two down and two to go," he allegedly said.
When Dorothy and her sister joined No More Victims, her sister told the class that this man had raped her. No More Victims intervened immediately, calling Children's Protective Services and taking pictures. Marilyn Gambrell accompanied the teens to court, where Dorothy says her mother lied on the stand, siding with the husband. He got ten years.
Now the teens live with their grandmother. Even with a baby on the way, Dorothy plans to graduate this year. Gambrell has taken groceries to the family, bought shoes for Dorothy and given her school supplies.
"Whatever we need, she's been there for us," Dorothy says. "I love this program for that."
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