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Pro-Choice and Pro-Voice

Posts tagged domestic violence

Apr 18 '14

NEW Resources to Support Pregnant Survivors of Abuse


Pregnant women’s experiences and needs for emotional support, physical well-being, access to healthcare and other community-based services are significantly different from women who are not pregnant. For pregnant women also dealing with past or current domestic violence and currently residing in a domestic violence shelter or safe house, the multitude of experiences and needs may be even greater. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has created Technical Assistance Guidance to address the intersection of these issues and will be hosting a webinar to explore this topic further. See below to register today!

NEW! Technical Assistance Guidance
Birth Doulas and Shelter Advocates: Creating Partnerships and Building Capacity by Fern Gilkerson and Kenya Fairley for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (April 2014)
The goal of this Technical Assistance Guidance is to provide information for both victim advocates working in shelter and birth doulas on the impact of trauma in pregnancy and childbirth, and to outline how a partnership between these two communities may be of benefit to pregnant survivors of domestic violence.

FREE! Webinar
Trauma-Informed Birth Support for Survivors of Abuse
Monday, April 21st from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST
Domestic violence victim advocates must provide advocacy and counseling that considers survivors’ pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum needs. A birth doula,or childbirth companion, tends to be an untapped resource in the community for survivors of abuse residing in safe shelter. Domestic violence shelters that partner with doulas can offer specialized program services to enhance support and safety options for pregnant women. Participate in this webinar session to learn more about the impact of experiencing domestic violence trauma, past or present, on pregnant women and their childbirth experience. This webinar is for domestic violence victim advocates, shelter advocates, doulas, and other birth professionals.
Register at

Apr 13 '14
"The question is not, should a survivor call the police? The question is: why have we given survivors no other option but to call the police?"

Moral Limits of the Law - Andrea Smith

Smith talks about simultaneously working toward legal reform as a short-term, practical strategy, while building long-term community structures for addressing interpersonal violence that will eventually replace the legal system. I just reblogged a post by Nitanahkohe about the frustration/fear that only working on, as Andrea says, “politically pure” strategies, means leaving some survivors without the immediate help they need, which may be distance from their abuser, housing, or medical care.

Apr 13 '14


in all these “critical discussions” on activism there ends up being a kinda circle-jerk type thing where everyone agrees that we should “work outside the state” (despite the fact that many of these conversations are happening at public institutions like universities, libraries, parks, etc and many of the people IN the conversation are employed by such institutions), and yet nobody actually does anything to do that so they just sit around and talk and talk and talk about it (this is similar to discussions of decolonization) and meanwhile the “most marginalized” of their communities are typically not even in the room and are prolly dying etc etc etc

like WHY is no one asking/answering the question of who has the privilege of even working outside the state in the first place

as someone who works in a chronically underfunded field (culturally-specific services for domestic violence & sexual assault victims), i can tell you the people telling me to work outside the state are NOT out in the streets collecting the money needed for shelters or medical care….so basically you’re telling me i gotta go find money somewhere else, but you’re not gonna give it to me or help me find it, and if i get it from a corporation or private entity i’m still feeding into “the system” and if i get it from the state i’m complicit in the “non-profit industrial complex” and meanwhile we have women in desperate need of safe homes, transportation, and medical care

i mean perfect example—alaska has more than 200 alaska native villages, and only ONE of them has a women’s shelter, despite alaska having the highest rate of sexual violence in the entire US. so yeah if the government wants to give a group of native women funds to build another one in one of the other 199+ communities (most of which are only seasonally accessible in the first place and thus VERY isolated and lacking law enforcement)…..i would totally be on board for them to take it and build the fucking shelter.

i mean this is a rant here but i’m in this “american social movements” grad seminar and it keeps coming down to “move away from the state!!!” and i’m like, women in our communities will die without the help of the state bc their own fuckin communities aren’t looking out for them like that either bc they won’t or bc they don’t have the means. like in the alaskan example, there are women that freeze to death every single winter bc they try to escape abusive homes by hiding out in seasonal fish cabins (which aren’t insulated bc they’re only for summer use). 

and in the native context more largely, you can’t really take the state out of the equation like that unless you’re gonna be self sufficient and get rid of it entirely, bc i mean doing ANYTHING in native communities will eventually come down to dealing with tribal & federal governments (education, clean water, humane housing, violence against women, etc etc etc)

again this is a rant and is not a polished argument but the point i’m tryna make is i’m SO TIRED of hearing people talk about moving outside the system or not working with the state or somehow you’re not revolutionary if you have a grant from the dept of justice or verizon or whatever and meanwhile these people *aren’t doing anything concrete to better their communities and have no idea what the realities are on the ground*

this includes a number of famous and beloved “radical” academics, including native ones

We have a couple of these in our little “radical” anti-sexual violence group and I’m going to bring this up next week. The center I volunteer for is losing funding, same with all the other centers around the state, and we’re picking up their “caseloads” (I don’t know) while trying to manage with less money. Ultimately the goal is probably to not need centers like ours at all, but at the moment it’s what we have, it does really fucking important work for survivors that no one else is stepping up for, and we need to support it.

Apr 13 '14
"Because it is presumed that the best way to address a social ill is to call it a ‘crime’, this strategy is then deemed the correct moral strategy. When this strategy backfires and does not end violence, and in many cases increases violence against women, it becomes difficult to argue against this strategy because it has been articulated in moral terms."
Moral Limits of the Law - Andrea Smith
Apr 13 '14
Apr 10 '14

(Source: oliviasbenson)

Apr 10 '14

Anonymous asked:

An abortion saved me. It saved me from an abusive relationship. It saved me mentally and physically. You want MORE crisis pregnancy centers? I got called a slut, I got told lies and was degraded. They didn't care about me, they didn't care about helping. They just wanted the fetus in me to be born. She didn't even know my name, but she knew that something killing me was still more important.





I don’t know what you want me to say.

It appears you believe murder is an acceptable way to get out of a horrible situation. That the only way to get out of an abusive relationship when pregnant is to get your unborn child crushed and pulled out of you. Congratulations.

May you be happy for the rest of your life. - Gabbie

Wow, the civility in oh-snap-pro-lifers answer is near non-existent. They’re blatant disregard for the anon above’s well-being is astonishing.

The anon is trying to get you to emit empathy for their situation, which you are clearly incapable of, the only thing you are able to empathize with is a fetus, which isn’t saying much as fetuses are non-sentient beings whom have no thoughts or feelings (physical or emotional.)

Let this be a reminder that no matter how dire your situation may be, no matter how hard the choice was you had to make, no matter the reason, OSPL will make you feel like shit and provide no support, just judgement and hate.

To the anon: if you need anything we’re here for you. I know what you went through was really tough and you do not deserve the judgment and shaming OSPL has spewed at you. If you’d like someone to talk to Exhale is a really great post-abortion counseling hotline, no judgment just love. Stay strong, and just know you are not alone and you do not deserve to be judged or shamed. - Paige

If anon wanted support and comfort they wouldn’t have come gloating to a pro life blog.

All anon wanted to do was rub her abortion in my face to try and get some sort of angry emotional reaction from me.

If she wanted support she would have gone to you. I’m never going to support that. Abusive relationships are horrible, but abortion isn’t the only way out.

They, like many of us, are attacked by your movement on a daily basis for having an abortion, they were reaching out looking for an empathetic ear. They were not gloating, they were sharing their experience trying to help your community understand where they were coming from, they were trying to help you empathize with them, show you that their choice to have an abortion was our of need, and it helped save THEIR life, to which you replied like an asshat clearly unsatisfied with the fact that their life was saved.

In their case, they felt it was absolutely necessary to have an abortion as part of their plan to evade an abusive and possibly deadly relationship. Let’s take a look at the statistics shall we?

Provided by Your-Lies-Ruin-Lives:

  • "Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause , and evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners." [X]
  • "Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women in abusive relationships, and abuse can often begin or escalate during the pregnancy." [X]

They did what they felt was absolutely necessary to save their life, so who the fuck are you to tell them otherwise? Are you them? No, so you don’t get to say what they should/should not have done, you have NO right.

I thought Christians were supposed to not judge and condemn? You may want to go back and do some reading, you can’t just pick and choose what parts of the bible you want to practice and what parts you don’t. - Paige

This is the most breathtakingly self-centered, confused response I’ve ever seen from an anti-abortion blog. I hope this person never works directly with clients or patients. The asker was trying to show that the pro-life resources they sought did more harm than good, and all they got from this “pro-lifer” was more verbal abuse and a complete (deliberate?) misinterpretation of their words. “Gloating?” “Rub[bing] her abortion in my face?” Unbelievable.

If you haven’t seen it before, a post on reproductive coercion had an amazing response from Curious Georgiana about how Planned Parenthood helped her survive her abusive, coercive relationship by providing unconditional, nonjudgmental support and discreet birth control services.

In contrast, the documentary 12th & Delaware features a woman who was encouraged by a crisis pregnancy center to stay with her abusive partner and have the baby, suggesting it would “change him.” In another instance, a woman in an abusive relationship was told by CPC staff that it was her fault for “not letting him lead,” that she was “subjugating his masculinity,” and that “spare the rod and spoil the child is meant for the wife as well in some more difficult cases.”

TRUST PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING ABUSED TO KNOW WHAT THEY NEED. Even if this means staying with their abuser. Even if it means making choices you don’t agree with. Their self-worth, self-reliance, and autonomy is already under attack - our job as support systems is not to reinforce that by criticizing or dictating their decisions. Enduring abuse is about survival, and only victims have that intimate knowledge to decide what needs to happen for them to survive.

Apr 9 '14

I need help



(Big trigger warning for abuse)

I posted about a good friend of mine a while ago (she’s a teen mother), and unfortunately, all the good things I’ve mentioned about her have been ‘forgotten.’

She recently got back together with her abusive ex (the father of her child) and has lost custody of her daughter, and I’m very, very worried about her. She hasn’t been on Facebook in a long time and I haven’t heard from her in weeks. Earlier this evening, the abuser’s mother posted on her Wall some disturbing things; publicly discussing the abuse (especially a more recent event) and expressing her concern for her. (Though NOT in a very loving way).

Is there anything I can do? I want to text her, but her boyfriend is extremely manipulative and controlling and I’m afraid he may be checking everything she does. I’m just so, so worried about her. :/

First, If you and your friend are located in the United States, keep this number handy:

  • National Domestic Violence hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)

Go ahead and text her, just as if nothing’s wrong.  DON’T ask her about her boyfriend or anything that could relate to the abuse, just keep it light. Maybe suggest getting together to go see a movie or get supper or  something.

Is she local to you?  Can you drop by her house? "Hey, I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d swing by.  Wanna go grab some Starbucks and catch up?"

The main thing is, keep in touch with her.  Let her know you’re there and ready to stay in communication, even if she’s not ready or able to communicate with you right now.

If she does re-establish communication with you…well, let me get personal.  

I had a friend in an abusive relationship.  She told me later that the friends that helped her the most were the ones that recognized that being in an abusive relationship was a choice that she was making, and they didn’t judge her for it.

That’s really hard to do - she lost a lot of friends, because of how hard that is to do.  But no one in her life was reinforcing her sense of agency except these few key players. They kept saying "it’s ok if you stay; I understand. It’s complicated" and that was actually comforting to her. Someone was telling her that she was able to make really big decisions for herself.

And she finally made the decision to leave, partly because our circle of friends reinforced that she could make decisions, period.

Abused people are often doormats. They grew up being pushed around and they get with people who push them around. When you try to coax your friend to leave, you’re reinforcing her lifelong experience that other people don’t respect her right to choose, her fundamental agency. When you try to pressure her into leaving, you give her a choice between you deciding for her, and him deciding for her. And you aren’t providing sex  or a father for her child or whatever other thing she gets out of it.

Your friend isn’t necessarily a doormat.  But having her self-esteem and self-confidence consistently and persistently worn down over the years to the extent that she probably doesn’t trust her own judgement anymore can make her seem like one. If you’ve never been through an abusive relationship, it’s hard to understand how emotionally and intellectually exhausted you can get from trying to stay one step ahead of your abuser and to fail, over and over again. It seems obvious to those not in the relationship: leave. But it isn’t obvious to her, and there’s usually complications.  

So, what I would say to you is, it might be better for you to support her and say things like "you can make good choices. You’re really smart. If you ever need a place to stay, you can come here, but I understand if you don’t leave him. Love is complicated. I trust you to do what is right for you."  And if you can’t handle saying, "It’s okay if you stay with him", you can try something I’ve done: "I will still love you if you stay with him. I will still love you if you miss him." It sounds obvious, like, of course you will! But I’ve always found it to be really, really well received. 

It feels counter-intuitive, but confidence in someone is often one of the best supports you can give someone who does not have their own confidence for the time being. When you tell someone like this what they ought to do, even if it’s because they deserve better, they don’t hear that they deserve better, they hear another person disapproving of their ability to handle their life. When you express confidence in their ability to handle their life, even while disapproving of a particular facet, they oddly hear this as it is, and it’s empowering: someone does not think they are worthless and stupid! This person will not say “I told you so” if I leave the relationship! This person has inherent confidence in me that will not go away if I make mistakes! That can be huge for someone who feels worthless.

But you have to mean it. That’s the hard part. She’s making the choice to be in an abusive relationship, partly because - and I have heard this a lot from other women who’ve been through similar things - because the pain of leaving is unknowable and so frightening that you’re willing to stay. At least when you stay, you know the pain. “Better the devil you know”, as the saying goes.

Anyway, good luck. Reach out to your friend.  Hug her when you see her.  And try to give her confidence.

Apr 2 '14
Mar 27 '14
Mar 26 '14

Native women are more likely than any other minority group to be victims of sexual abuse. According to the Department of Justice, more of these crimes are committed by white offenders, and there are too many stories to count of white men coming from outside the reservation to abuse Native women.

Which is why this next fact should horrify you. Since 1978, the Supreme Court has forbidden tribes from prosecuting non-Native abusers and rapists living or working on the reservation. The newest version of the Violence Against Women Act has put in motion a new project that will allow tribes criminal jurisdiction over one type of violence - domestic abuse - when the offender is non-Native.

Obviously, the legal system is just one piece of the puzzle, and these are baby steps, to say the least. With the new focus on campus assaults, we need also to prioritize victims that have faced centuries of violence, who are revictimized every day by serial abusers and by our silence.

Legal victories are not and should never be the end goal when addressing sexual and interpersonal violence.

Mar 7 '14

Message or kik me (carahthemongoose) for more information. Please reblog<3 its tomorrow btw :L


Message or kik me (carahthemongoose) for more information. Please reblog<3 its tomorrow btw :L

Mar 3 '14
Please reblog and donate.
Marissa Alexander now faces a 60-year sentence for firing a warning shot into the wall to stop her abusive husband&#8217;s attack. Her legal team is working pro bono, but she still owes over $250,000 in legal expenses. The prosecutor, Angela Corey, is the same who couldn&#8217;t get a conviction for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Self-defense against domestic violence does not deserve life in prison.

Please reblog and donate.

Marissa Alexander now faces a 60-year sentence for firing a warning shot into the wall to stop her abusive husband’s attack. Her legal team is working pro bono, but she still owes over $250,000 in legal expenses. The prosecutor, Angela Corey, is the same who couldn’t get a conviction for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Self-defense against domestic violence does not deserve life in prison.

Mar 2 '14
Mar 2 '14


March 1, 2014

From:               Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign

Angela Corey Aims to Increase Marissa Alexander Sentence to 60 Years; 
Outrageous Targeting of Alexander Impacts All Women and Their Right to Self Defense

Demonstrating a stunning abuse of power, Florida State Prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced that she aims to increase the prison sentence for Marissa Alexander from 20 to 60 years in the upcoming July 28th trial.  In 2012, Alexander – an African American mother of three in Jacksonville, Florida —  was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years for firing a warning shot upwards into a wall to defend her life from her abusive estranged husband.  She caused no injuries.  Alexander successfully appealed the unjust trial and was granted a new trial. In November 2013, after serving nearly three years in prison, she was released on bond to home detention until her new trial.
Yet as a consequence of winning the appeal to hopefully secure a more fair trial, Alexander now faces the alarming prospect that the original devastating sentence could be tripled in the new trial.  In the upcoming trial, Corey says she intends to seek three 20 year sentences for Alexander to be served consecutively rather than concurrently, tripling the mandatory minimum to 60 years.

Free Marissa Now member and victim’s advocate, Sumayya Fire, stated, “Remember that this entire case boils down to a woman defending her life from her husband who attacked her, strangled her, threatened to kill her, whose beatings have sent her to the hospital and likely caused her to have premature labor.  A husband who confirmed in a deposition that he beat her, that he was in a rage when he attacked her, and that he has beaten other women with whom he was involved.  Remember that when Marissa Alexander fired her warning shot to save her own life, she caused no injuries.  Now she’s facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison for that act of self-defense.  That should send a chill down the back of every person in this country who believes that women who are attacked have the right to defend themselves.  Anyone who believes that domestic violence is unjust should be deeply shaken by Corey’s abusive prosecution of Marissa Alexander and should be advocating for Alexander’s freedom.”
Sumayya Fire and other members of Free Marissa Now believe that Angela Corey has launched a campaign of escalating punishment of Marissa Alexander to shield herself from charges of mishandling trials and failing to secure guilty verdicts for the murders of black teens, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, in addition to various lawsuits targeting her office for misconduct, and criticism for a pattern of maliciously over-charging defendants in order to bully them into plea bargains. ”Corey is on the defense and appears to be substituting vindictiveness for justice,” said Free Marissa Now member, Helen Gilbert. “If anyone still thought Angela Corey was seeking justice rather than making a political power-play, this latest news must erase all doubt. Corey is using the full power of the system to serve her own political ambitions, at the sake of one woman’s life and every woman’s safety.”
Despite Corey’s scare and smear tactics, the national Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is resolved to fight for Marissa Alexander’s freedom, and for the lives and freedom of all victims of domestic violence.  The campaign calls on the Florida legislature to repeal all mandatory minimum laws, and ensure that judges have discretion over whether sentences can be served consecutively or concurrently.  
Jacksonville activist and Free Marissa Now leader Aleta Alston-Toure’ adds, “We also call on all people who want to end domestic violence, who believe in the right to self-defense, and who want to end mass incarceration to support the Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund.  Alexander faces $250,000 in legal fees and $2,205 for the ankle monitor she is forced to wear while under house arrest. All these cost are waged against an innocent woman who needs everyone’s help.  A 60 year sentence for Marissa Alexander would not only be devastating for her, her children and family, and her community, it would be a decisive blow to the right to self defense for black women and all women.  Incarcerating Marissa Alexander will send a strong message to all survivors that violence against them will be ignored and they instead will be subject to prosecution if they defend their lives. It is up to us to make sure victims of domestic violence are not forced to choose between saving their lives and spending the rest of their lives in prison. Enough is enough!  Please join Free Marissa Now!”  
Contributions to the Marissa Alexander Freedom Fund can be made at Free Marissa Now can be reached at,, and on facebooktwitter, and tumblr at “freemarissanow”.
The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is an international grassroots campaign led by a core of organizers representing the African American/Black Women’s Cultural Alliance, New Jim Crow Movement - Jacksonville, Radical Women, INCITE!, and the Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander.

This is unbelievable.