Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A place the residents call hell

Mother and son huddled together, battered and beaten, in the bathroom -- sobbing, wondering why no one came to help.

Surely the neighbors had heard their screams. The walls are thin in the violence-plagued public housing project.

For three hours, the two say, the woman was raped and sodomized by up to 10 masked teenagers as her 12-year-old son was beaten in another room. Then, mother and son were reunited to endure the unspeakable: At gunpoint, the woman was forced to perform oral sex on the boy, she told a TV station.

The thugs then fled with a couple hundred dollars' worth of cash, jewelry and cell phones.

Welcome to Dunbar Village,* a place residents call hell.

Read the rest of the story in the St. Petersburg Times.

As my friend LaVonne says, growing up without physical and emotional shelter has widespread and damaging effects.
* One of the first housing projects in the state of Florida, it was named for the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.


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