End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin is in solidarity with Chrystul Kizer, the #FreeChrystul Defense Committee and all those throughout Milwaukee, Kenosha, Wisconsin and the nation who are calling on the district attorney to drop his charges against Chrystul. Chrystal is a survivor of sex trafficking, who is now facing a life sentence for that survival. As advocates for survivors of gender-based violence, we are compelled to raise our voices against this and all instances of criminalizing Girls and Women of Color for their courageous perseverance. We strongly affirm the truth that — despite the labels used by Wisconsin’s criminal legal system — no child can be a prostitute.
The failure to protect Girls of Color is stark and shameful. African-American children are arrested for prostitution more often than all other racial groups combined. Their involvement with the criminal justice system because of their victimization further compounds their trauma and barriers to healthy lives. For Girls of Color, the astonishingly high rates of sexual abuse feeds what some have called “The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline.” Girls of Color makeup approximately two-thirds of all girls who are incarcerated. The disparities continue into adulthood. African-American women represent 30 percent of all incarcerated women in this country, but they make up only 13 percent of all women in the U.S.
The state is trying to turn Chrystul into another statistic, and we need to speak up to prevent this injustice. Chrystul was a victim of child abuse and child sex trafficking. Any humane system would be working to give her the resources and support to heal. But like for so many other Girls of Color, racism and state violence are intertwining to cast Chrystul off to a life behind bars. We must not allow this to occur.
Please take these actions to help free Chyrstul. These actions were organized by the #FreeChrystul Defense Committee, and End Abuse is grateful to the Committee for its leadership.
1. Endorse the Letter to Kenosha County District Attorney (DA) Michael Graveley
Individuals can sign on here: https://tinyurl.com/y6ncnwtk
Organizations should email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your organization added to the letter.
2. Call or Email DA Graveley in Support of Chrystul
Let DA Graveley know directly that Chrystul should not be punished for surviving violence; she should be supported and have opportunities to begin a healing journey in her community.
3. Pack the Court for Chrystul on April 5, 2019 at 9:30 am
Show Chrystul and the decision makers in her case that Chrystul has broad community support by attending her next preliminary hearing at the Kenosha County Court. The Defense Committee encourages supporters to wear an article of red clothing to signal your support for Chrystul. Here is the Facebook event for the hearing. (Also note that the start times of preliminary hearings can sometimes be delayed without notice by the court.)
4. Reach Across Walls
Send Letters of Support to Chrystul. Let Chrystul know that she is not forgotten, and she is not alone. Chrystul can receive mail at this address:
Chrystul Kizer #675639
P.O. Box 1947
Fond Du Lac, WI 54935
5. Educate Yourself (and Others) About Chrystul’s Case and the Criminalization of Survivors
- If You Care About Cyntoia Brown, You Should Know Chrystul Kizer’s Name
- We Won Clemency for Cyntoia Brown—Now Let’s Free all Survivors
- Prison Abolitionist Mariame Kaba on Cyntoia Brown, the First Step Act and NYC Building 4 New Jails [segment 4:35-12:40; Chrystul’s case discussed at 8:20]
- Survived & Punished
6. Donate to Support Chrystul and Her Family
The Kenosha County DA is choosing to put Chrystul and her family in a situation that burdens them with significant costs beyond the trauma she has already experienced – many of these costs are not measurable, however, some of them are monetary. Please donate to make sure Chrystul has access to commissary items, and Chrystul’s family can visit her and meet other needs while they endure this injustice. GoFundMe: gofundme.com/free-chrystul-kizer
7. Share the #FreeChrystul Campaign Page Share and follow this page for more updates on Chrystul’s case and the campaign for Chrystul’s freedom.