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Survived and Punished

Survived and Punished Story

Affirming the lives and self-determination of all survivors

Survived and Punished focuses on the specific ways that gender violence, the criminal legal system, and prisons intersect, worsening the already severe impacts of abuse on survivors and their children. Our coalition believes that policing, immigration enforcement and the prison industrial complex are violent institutions that primarily target poor communities of color. S&P demands the immediate release of survivors of domestic and sexual violence and other forms of gender violence who are imprisoned for survival actions, including: self-defense, “failure to protect,” migration, removing children from abusive people, being coerced into acting as an "accomplice," and securing resources needed to live.

For many survivors, it is in the context of racism, poverty, and gender violence (including transphobia and homophobia) that self-defense and other survival actions are often criminalized. Black women and other marginalized people are especially likely to be criminalized, prosecuted, and incarcerated while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. In 1991, the ratio of black women to white women convicted of killing their abusive husbands was nearly two to one. Women of color and low income women are disproportionately affected by mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence.

S&P affirms the lives and self-determination of all survivors of domestic and sexual violence, especially those who are formerly and currently incarcerated. We focus on criminalized survivors to highlight the specific pipeline between surviving sexual and domestic violence and being arrested, imprisoned, and/or deported. Knowing that abuse and incarceration are both meant to isolate and diminish the person, we hope for more restorative resources and options for survivors.