Hi, my name is Jennifer Green. I was a resident of the Sacramento
Children’s Receiving Home from 1985 -1986. I didn’t know it at
the time, but this was a pivotal changing point in my life. My
story begins at the age of five. My father was an alcoholic, and
while he was drunk, he would use me as a punching bag, while my
mother stood by and did nothing. The abuse started as physical
beatings, and eventually became emotional and mental as I grew
older. I lived in constant fear and was in survival mode all of
Most days, the only meal I received was the free hot lunch I got
at school and the occasional meal at my grandparents’ home.
You’ve may have heard the phrase “I’ll spank you so hard, you
won’t be able to sit down for a week”…I actually experienced that
first hand on more than one occasion. My parents were skillful in
covering up the abuse with my father threatening me on what would
happen if I ever told anybody, and my mother making sure the
bruises on my arms, legs and back were covered up. In a drunken
rage, on two separate occasions (age seven and again at age
thirteen); my father was almost successful in taking my life. In
the first attempt, he almost decapitated my head with an ax while
I was pinned to the wall, and in the second attempt he held a
knife to my throat in my darkened bedroom with a pillow over my
face in an attempt to smother me. In both cases, my mother
managed to get him to stop before it was too late.
On the day I showed up to the Children’s Receiving Home. I had
spent the entire previous night being kept up all night, with my
father punching me with his fists and hitting me with his
belt. He told me (as he done so many times before) that I
wouldn’t amount to anything that I was stupid and nobody would
ever want me. Because I was late to school, my mother wrote a
note explaining that we “had a family discussion”. I went
to school in my pajamas, changed into some old gym clothes that
were in my locker, and put on make- up to hid the swelling (a
routine I was all too familiar with), but it didn’t work because
I was sent me to the principal’s office, and I lost it. I
was then sent to the Children’s Receiving Home and was very
scared and sure that my father might get in and make sure he
finished the job because now, everybody knew.
The staff at CRH were kind to me, and they provided the first
real structure in my childhood. I eventually felt reassured
that my father wasn’t going to be able to hurt me anymore.
I still gave the staff a run for their money though; I was
defiant, scared, confused, and angry, and I didn’t care about
myself or the world. Despite my attitude the staff cared
about me and eventually I could see they did impact my life in a
positive way. I left the Children’s Receiving Home for a
more permanent placement, where I ultimately emancipated out of
the system at the age of eighteen.
Today, I am a very busy mother of two beautiful boys and wife to
my husband Steve. My oldest is graduating high school in May
2013, and my youngest is in the sixth grade. Both keep me busy
with sports, scouting, and their various other activities.
I also work full time as a successful Financial Consultant for a
major firm. To this day, I credit CRH as a key beginning on my
road to leading the successful life I have today.