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“The System Abuses Us by Locking Us Up Forever”: Aging Survivors Behind Bars

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On October 6, 2016, 15-year-old Bresha Meadows will appear in an Ohio family court for the death of her abusive father. Meadows had spent a lifetime watching her father hit, kick, shove and control her mother. If her mother tried to leave, her father often threatened that he would kill her and their three children.

Meadows had run away twice; each time, police returned her to her parents. On July 28, 2016, using the gun her father often used to threaten his family, the 14-year-old shot him as he slept. She was arrested and is now facing charges of aggravated murder. She spent her 15th birthday in detention. That may not be her only birthday behind bars: The Trumbull County prosecutor has not yet said whether he will charge her in juvenile court or attempt to move her case to adult criminal court. If she is tried and convicted in adult court, she faces life in prison.

Bresha Meadows is only 15 years old. Her family and supporters around the country are fervently hoping that charges against her will be dropped, allowing her to rejoin her family rather than spend the rest of her life in prison. But what about the countless domestic violence survivors sentenced to lengthy (or life) sentences? What happens as they age behind bars?


1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That

The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

Sign this petition and change that. Protect NY Kids.

Sign Petition Now

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