We're working to pass a Survivor's Justice Act in Oklahoma. This bill would allow mitigating evidence of abuse at sentencing in a criminal trial. It would also allow survivors who have been sentenced another chance at justice through re-sentencing.
Criminalized survivorship is the experience of being a survivor of violence, and then being subjected to criminal prosecution for fighting back against the abuse.
Our society frequently places the blame for violent acts on women, even when the women were not the perpetrators of violence.
We're connecting with criminalized survivors in Oklahoma prisons to gather their stories, support them in the ways they need, and provide solidarity.
Sign up here to join our movement to resentence survivors in prison.
From the colonization of native lands, to the Black Wall Street Massacre, Oklahomans are no strangers to violence and pain. It's in our DNA. And, even when we didn't want it to, it crept into our homes. It crept into what should've been our safest places: our relationships. Child victimization in Oklahoma is almost double the national average, meaning that so many children begin to transpose violence for love early in their lives. So it's no wonder many of our citizens go on to enter relationships that culminate in violence.
90% of those treated for intimate partner violence injuries were women. Of those, the highest incidence occurs in Black women and Native women respectively.
Over 40,000 domestic violence calls were made in Oklahoma County in 2021, less than a thousand of those led to arrest.
We have to accept that our responses to intimate partner violence are not effective. We may never be able to eradicate intimate partner violence. However, some survivors are getting caught in the cross hairs of ineffective policy. Many survivors of violence fight back, and even though their abusers have evaded accountability for numerous systemic reasons--they are made to pay through prosecution, imprisonment, and excessive sentences.
In October of 2020, when Harvey Weinstein was being tried for his crimes at the NY State Supreme Courthouse in Manhattan, artist Luciano Garbatti unveiled his statue across the street.
His bronze statue depicts Medusa holding the severed head of Perseus. In the myth, Medusa was raped by Poseidon and then turned into a monster with snakes for hair who could turn men to stone with her gaze. Garbatti's work turns the story on its head, showing Medusa victorious over her tormentors and recasting an age old villain as a survivor who endured violence and then "set a boundary."
Garbatti said of his statute, "This difference between a masculine victory and a feminine one, that was central to my work. The representations of Perseus, he’s always showing the fact that he won, showing the head…if you look at my Medusas…she is determined, she had to do what she did because she was defending herself. It’s quite a tragic moment.”
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