University of California - Berkeley
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"So, what do you want to do today?"
The woman stood in front of me with her clipboard and pen, patiently waiting for my answer. I turned my head to look at my brother-in-law's door down the hallway. My body ached; I had been savagely beaten that morning for no particular reason. Holding back painful tears, I answered, "Ma'am, no charges."
Truthfully, I wanted to have the police arrest my brother-in-law and take him far away from my family. I wanted him gone. Standing before the policewoman, I had silently debated with myself. I thought of my mom, who was being rushed to the hospital by the ambulance; I thought of my three-year-old niece, standing near me and clearly horrified by the crime scene; I thought of the pain my brother-in-law had been causing my entire family throughout the past seven years; I thought about the tremendous power I had been given to change my family's life. My oldest sister looked up at me from the bottom of the stairs. I noticed the yearning in her eyes and knew I could never place her in financial ruin. With one daughter already and another one coming in about a month, it was out of the question for my sister to pay bail for her husband. It seemed to me that my...
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