Journalist Natalie Pattillo and filmmaker Daniel A. Nelson created the documentary film And So I Stayed to raise awareness about criminalized survival. This is the criminal justice systems long practice of imprisoning survivors of intimate partner violence when they fight back against their abusers. Pattillo, herself a survivor, followed the stories of Kim Dadou Brown, Tanisha Davis and Nikki Addimando, women imprisoned for killing their abusers in a struggle to survive. Dadou Brown went on to help write and advocate for the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, a New York State law that would force judges to take into account a history of domestic violence when sentencing or on appeal. Efforts to create this law started at Bedford Hills prison in 1985. The law went into effect in 2019 and has changed the prison sentences of 40 people in New York. It serves as a blueprint for states who are considering similar legislation.
CRIMINALIZED SURVIVALFelix Gonzalez