On July 6, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision that will allow Chrystul Kizer to present an affirmative defense specific to sex trafficking survivors in her first-degree homicide case. In 2018 at the age of 17, Kizer was charged with first-degree intentional homicide of Randall P. Volar III, of Kenosha. Prior to his death, Volar was to be arrested for known child sex crimes, including the victimization of Kizer.
If the affirmative defense is successfully used, Kizer would be acquitted of charges. In the recent decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified the meaning and scope of the affirmative defense – affirming that it provides a complete defense to first degree homicide and defining what it means for a crime to be a “direct result” of trafficking. With this decision, future trafficking survivors will have a clearer path to use this affirmative defense.
Kizer’s case is far from over. If the judge in her trial agrees that there is some evidence that her crimes were a direct result of trafficking, Kizer will be able to make the affirmative defense argument to a jury, as well. With a long road ahead, End Abuse is prepared to support Kizer and all survivors of trafficking.
“This case may enable trafficking survivors to use the tools available to them to seek justice,” said Monique Minkens, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “Trafficking survivors – especially those already marginalized by racialized and economic violence – are among the most vulnerable and underserved in our society. The impact of traumas caused by such heinous acts is often long-lasting and has potential to influence a victim long after the abuse has ended. Criminalization of those who have been victimized – like in Chrystul’s case – even further marginalizes and traumatizes. We must work towards justice for these criminalized survivors. Chrystul Kizer has our full support.”
End Abuse supports the Free Chrystul Kizer group’s efforts in this case and echoes their call for the District Attorney to drop all charges in this case. Her next court hearing is scheduled for September.
CONTACT: Elise Buchbinder | Director of Communications, End Domestic Abuse WI | firstname.lastname@example.org
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (End Abuse, www.endabusewi.org) is the leading voice for victims of domestic abuse in Wisconsin. At End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, we educate shelter and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. We strive to shift Wisconsin from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence to values of mutual respect and equity, and we partner with communities in the effort to prevent and end domestic abuse. We encourage reporters to include the National Domestic Violence Hotline number [1−800−799−SAFE(7233)] in their stories for victims who need help. A list of local Wisconsin domestic violence victim service providers can be found at www.endabusewi.org/get-help