THESE SURVIVORS URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and we remain committed to ending domestic violence, dismantling the prison industry, and supporting the freedom of survivors who have been criminalized. This DVAM we are connecting you to three crucial freedom campaigns for survivors of domestic and sexual violence that urgently need your support secure their freedom:
Thank you very much for your solidarity with these survivors and your support of their freedom!
Oct 18, San Francisco: Free Ny Rally to Support Survivors and Protest ICE
Oct 21, New York City: Defending the Lives of Criminalized Survivors: A NYCTeach-In
And on Oct 27, the Free Tondalao Hall campaign is hosting a webinar: #ProjectBlackbird Presents---For Tondalao: Domestic Violence, Motherhood, & Mass Incarceration in Oklahoma
Kelly Ann Savage is an incarcerated survivor of severe domestic and sexual violence by her former husband. In 1995, Kelly tried to escape with her children after receiving safety plan directives from a domestic violence crisis line. When Kelly's abusive husband, Mark, learned that she was trying to escape, he tragically killed her 3-year old son Justin. Despite all her efforts to survive and escape with her children, the prosecution blamed Kelly for not escaping sooner. The prosecution completely ignored the documented dangers associated with attempting to leave an abusive partner. Research shows that women who attempt to leave their abusive husbands are at a 70-75% higher risk of being killed by their batterers than those who stay. The jury in Kelly’s trial was prevented from hearing testimony from an expert in domestic violence who could explain that batterers escalate their violence when victims attempt to escape. Blocking crucial expert testimony prevented Kelly’s right to a fair trial. Her conviction rested on the prosecution exploiting myths and misconceptions of survivors of abuse. Kelly was convicted of first-degree murder for “aiding and abetting” her abusive husband, and sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole. Since her conviction, Kelly has received support from domestic violence victim advocates across California who strongly support her release.
JOIN US in asking Governor Jerry Brown to commute Kelly’s sentence from Life Without Parole to a parole-eligible sentence!
Ny Nourn was born in a refugee camp after her mother fled the violence of genocide and US bombs in Cambodia. Ny was only five years old when she came as a refugee. When she was a high school junior, Ny entered into an abusive relationship with a man she met on the Internet. He was nearly twice her age. Just weeks after Ny turned 18, her abuser murdered the boss at her after school job in fit of jealousy. Over the next years, Ny’s life was filled with more beatings, rapes, and attempts to kill her than she can remember.
When Ny finally escaped and went to police to report the abuse and murder, police arrested her and charged her with aiding and abetting murder for having failed to intervene. A judge sentenced Ny to life in prison. After spending 16 years in prison, Ny was finally granted parole earlier this year.
Before she could take a breath of freedom, ICE agents handcuffed her outside the prison and took her to a county jail pending deportation to Cambodia. Ny’s community rallied behind her sending her hundreds of letters and packing the courtroom at her deportation hearing. In September, a judge granted Ny protection from deportation and ruled that she could not be deported to Cambodia. Still, ICE has refused to release her and plans to appeal the decision.
This system has inflicted enough punishment on Ny. TELL ICE TO FREE NY NOW!
A downloadable toolkit for organizing defense campaigns for criminalized survivors of violence.
#SurvivedAndPunished: Survivor Defense as Abolitionist Praxis is a collection of tools, tips, lessons and resources developed through our own experiences. It is also an effort to document and reflect on our own movement work. It is important for us to document especially because our organizing work has been led by Black women, women of color, immigrants and queer/trans people, who are so often erased from history. We hope to preserve some of these histories, build solidarity, and share hope as we continue our collective struggle.
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