Friday, January 17, 2014
Stacey Lannert, an abuse awareness advocate, gave four lectures at the Fulton State Hospital yesterday, sharing her story of abuse and life after murdering her abuser — her alcoholic father.
“She has a message of hope,” Marty Martin-Forman, chief operating officer at the hospital, said to a group of nearly 150 people.
Lannert served 18 years in prison for the first-degree murder of her father. After former Gov. Matt Blunt granted her clemency, she was released from prison on Jan. 16, 2009. Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Lannert’s release.
Martin-Forman said bringing Lannert to speak was conducive to the hospital’s “effort to be trauma-informed.” Lannert gave one lecture to hospital employees and three to clients.
She is in her last semester at Southeast Missouri State University, majoring in psychology and minoring in political science. Law school is in Lannert’s future.
“I’d like to give a voice to the people who only have a whisper,” Lannert said.
Lannert specifically said she would like to create more abuse awareness in schools. To do this, Lannert said abuse awareness could be curriculum-based, creating an environment in which children feel comfortable to report abuse.
“You like to pretend nothing is wrong,” Lannert said.
She added the state needs to be more accountable for reporting abuse rather than parents, who are the abusers in some cases.
“Abusers teach them not to tell,” Lannert said. “We need to teach them to tell.”
Telling someone about abuse was something Lannert tried several times herself at a young age, but nothing came of it, she said. Her father started molesting her when she was eight and a year later began raping her. Lannert said her father physically abused her younger sister, but never hurt her sexually when they were small children.
“I knew it hurt. I knew I hated it, but I couldn’t say what it was,” Lannert said.
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