Domestic Violence Awareness Day

by Emily Harris

On Saturday March 12th, I had the honor of attending the 5th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Day at Valley State Prison for Women.  The day was incredibly moving, full of lots of emotion, tears, laughter and many familiar faces.  It was such an honor to be present to witness the powerful skits, music, dance, poetry, and testimony about domestic violence.  One of the creative acts of resistance was the purple paper chain that the event organizers created that wrapped around the entire gymnasium. Each piece of paper had a quote such as “you are not alone”, “it is not your fault”, “break the silence” and as each speaker came to the stage they would breaking a chain off and read it out loud.

The event was organized by the Domestic Violence Peer Educators and attended by 400 women and transgender people at VSPW.  The event planners invited outside guests to participate and speak at the event, in attendance this year were members of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Justice Now, TGI Justice Project and CURB!!

Click here for more photos from TGIJP!

Below is an article from the Merced Sun-Star about the event:

Inmates at Chowchilla women’s prison address vicious cycle


Camilla Russell was abused as a child. “I never talked about it,” she recalled. Not talking about it for years caused the tension inside of her to build up as anger.

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