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On Tuesday, Nicole “Nikki” Addimando was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for killing her abuser in self-defense. Judge Edward McLoughlin chose not to take into account the years of life-threatening physical and sexual abuse, which was documented in official police reports and medical records. He denied applying the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act for a lesser sentence. Despite her abuser’s multiple threats to end her and her children’s life if she fled, Judge McLoughlin felt Nikki “could’ve safely left.” We sat in on the sentencing and listened to Nikki give a powerful, personal statement:

“I wish more than anything it ended another way. I wouldn’t be in this courtroom right now, but I wouldn’t be alive either. This is why women don’t leave. They so often end up dead or where I’m standing — alive, but not free.”