Our Voices Within: Out of the Shadows

I strive to be a ?peace warrior.? I?ve come to recognize this as a state of being rather than just a state of mind. It is a hard path to walk — but I trudge it with joy and gratitude because today I am able to be where many of my ?sisters in the struggle against domestic terrorism? cannot be — in the here and now.
–Debi Zuver, survivor incarcerated at CCWF from the Vision Statement for Our Voices Within: Out of the Shadows.
On Saturday, October 21st, Free Battered Women held its fourth Our Voices Within event celebrating the lives, struggles, victories, hopes, and dreams of incarcerated survivors of domestic violence. This year?s event honored the freedom of twelve survivors since the last Our Voices Within in 2004, a stupendous accomplishment which Free Battered Women helped to bring about! Happily, many of the released women and their families were able to come to the program along with their family members. They shared stories of joy and stories of continued struggle against discrimination, which they unfortunately have encountered from institutions and communities since their release.
Released survivors participated in the event?s inspiring program by speaking about their experiences, reading poetry, and dancing. There was also a silent auction of powerful visual art pieces created by incarcerated survivors. Each person who attended the event received a beautiful book of survivors? writings and drawings. Together these artistic expressions reminded everyone present of the resilience and creativity which is the motivating force behind Our Voices Within as well as the ongoing work of Free Battered Women to win justice and freedom for all incarcerated survivors of domestic violence. If you are in prison and would like a copy of the Our Voices Within event book, please write to Free Battered Women at 1540 Market Street, Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94102 to request a copy. Books are free to people in prison; others can get copies for a suggested donation of $15 (including postage and handling).