Severe Deprivation in America: An Introduction

A Life Crystal Mayberry was born prematurely on a spring day in 1990 shortly after her pregnant mother was stabbed eleven times in the back during a robbery.1 The attack induced labor. Both mother and daughter survived. It was not the first time Crystal’s mother had been stabbed. For as far back as she can remember, Crystal’s father had beat her mother. He smoked crack cocaine, and so did her mother; so did her mother’s mother.

Crystal’s mother found a way to leave, and her father soon after began a lengthy prison sentence. Crystal and her mother moved in with another man and his parents. That man’s father began molesting Crystal. She told her mother, and her mother called her a liar. Not long after Crystal began kindergarten, Child Protective Services stepped in. At five, Crystal was placed in foster care.

– Matthew Desmond

Read full article here.