Dear Dennis Watkins and Stanley Elkins,
I join a growing nationwide movement asking you to use your discretion and to drop all charges against child survivor of domestic violence, Bresha Meadows. I ask that you take pause to consider the implications of further punishing Bresha and her family. They have already suffered the constant terror of domestic violence and imminent threat of death. I encourage you to be remembered for stopping this cycle.
Bresha Meadows needs connection and support for healing. Bresha does not need further punishment, isolation and deprivation. She is a victim and a survivor. How does it serve Warren County to further traumatize Bresha?
I work with survivors of domestic violence who have been criminalized for surviving abuse and are incarcerated in California prisons. I also work with formerly incarcerated survivors of domestic violence who live to tell stories of surviving abusive relationships as well as abusive prosecution and incarceration. We need to stop this complex and endlessly traumatizing cycle of abuse, and I urge you to start with Bresha.
The endless criminalization of survivors of domestic violence is a nationwide crisis. This is a crisis of mostly women facing prosecution for surviving abuse and then imprisoned and left to die without public attention or legal recourse. This is a crisis hidden by the neglect and isolation of imprisonment. This crisis is driven by sexism and racism, since girls and women of color are disproportionately criminalized for surviving domestic and sexual violence. If convicted, these same girls and women then face further neglect in trying to access any post-conviction relief.
I urge you to take a stance against the continuous abuse survivors like Bresha suffer. I urge you to act on the side of justice instead of prosecuting another survivor, in this case a child. I urge you to consider how you would want children you know to be treated.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners