Fourteen-year-old Bresha Meadows of Ohio is incarcerated and facing a charge of aggravated murder for defending herself and family against the unrelenting terror and abuse of her father. We stand in solidarity with Bresha and demand that she is returned home to her family and that all charges against her are dropped. As an organization that supports trans and cis women and gender non-conforming people who defend themselves from interpersonal violence only to face sanctions from the state, we stand with young Bresha, who confronted her father in an effort to stop the frequent and brutal abuse endured by her mother, her sisters, and herself.
Bresha, her mother, and her sisters endured years of abuse and threats by Bresha’s father. After continuing to witness this abuse, Bresha sought help from family members and police, but the violence continued. As a young girl with few options, she was rightly scared for her family members’ lives as well as her own. What Bresha faced was not new: countless Black women, girls and gender-nonconforming people face similar matrices of interpersonal violence and state violence. Many, like Bresha, are criminalized for choosing survival.
The incarceration of Bresha Meadows serves no one. Bresha is not a threat to herself, family or community. Instead, it perpetuates the violence against Black women and girls that is inflicted at both the state and interpersonal levels every day. The state failed to protect Bresha. Now, it has chosen to criminalize her. In doing so, it also has chosen to exacerbate the suffering her family already has endured, as they now are separated from their daughter, sister, and niece and must prepare to defend Bresha’s life.
Our hope is that Bresha and her family are swiftly reunited without the threat of future separation by the state that they may begin to heal as only they can do with one another. We must bring Bresha Meadows home now.
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