Sue Bardo, Secretary

My name is Susan Bardo #882489

In 2013, I was convicted of first-degree child abuse and torture. I fully believed my co-defendant would kill my son if I disobeyed him. I fully believed my co-defendant when he said my loved one’s lives would be endangered if I were to find a way to leave. This man killed pets in front of me. Why would I risk the lives of my most cherished loved ones?

Did I ever report the abuse to anyone… not to police, no. Indirectly, I told my mother and my son’s uncle that “something” was wrong; but I never put a name to what that something was. I was convinced that my co-defendant had too many connections and whatever I said would get back to him. I feared retaliation and death.

For example, I swallowed an entire bottle of pills once and ended up in the E.R. The counsellor that came to evaluate me was his landlord’s wife. Not only was she directly connected to my co-defendant, but he also sat in on my interview with this crisis counsellor. This only reinforced my belief of the connections and reach my co-defendant had. So, I said nothing out of absolute fear of retaliation.

Did I fail to protect my son…. yes! Did I fail to leave or get help…yes! I believed there was nowhere I could hide that he wouldn’t find me. Did I become abusive towards my son… yes, but only at the orders of my co-defendant and only to prevent something more severe from happening at the hands of my co-defendant. I froze, I became obedient in order to keep my loved ones safe and alive.

A second look would give me a second chance at life and an opportunity to give back to the community. I am not that same beat down woman that entered prison ten years ago. Through therapy, self-improvement classes, and the support of my family, I am a much stronger woman today. I have learned to speak up for myself and others; I have learned to say no; and I have learned to trust my instincts/my gut.

I have been a GED tutor for eight years helping women earn their high school equivalence certification. Some of these women never thought they would be able to ever reach that goal. I have become a featured artist with PCAP; I have become a mentor to some women here; and most importantly, I have been able to rebuild my relationships with my family and loved ones.

I look forward to continuing to help people reach success, whether scholastically or personally. I also hope to become an advocate for survivors of Domestic Violence. I want legislators to understand there is more than fight or flight. There is also freeze which means doing whatever you’re told just to survive. I also want to bring awareness to the public about the realities of inmates with life and LIDS, and to help bring out prison reform.

Sue Bardo, Secretary


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