Solidarity with Incarcerated Survivors

Support incarcerated survivors of abuse and human trafficking through these programs.

Solidarity with Incarcerated Survivors

Our monthly letter writing events provide participants with the opportunity to write letters of support to incarcerated survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Participants can write a loved one or hear and select a survivor’s story. All ages are welcome, and participants can join in-person or online.
Our in-person events are held at the Monroe County Public Library; all supplies will be provided, and no registration is required. If you have any questions, please email prevention@middlewayhouse.net.
Our online events are held over Zoom; participants need to provide their own paper and writing utensils. Participants can drop letters off at Middle Way House to be mailed or can provide their own envelope and stamp. To register and to receive the Zoom link for our online events, please complete this Google form. If you have any questions, please contact Lindsey at prevention@middlewayhouse.net.
These events are held in collaboration with MCPL’s NonProfit Central, New Leaf-New Life, the Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center, the IU Middle Way House Chapter, and Bloomington PRIDE.
Because support for incarcerated survivors is critical, our prevention program launched monthly letter writing nights in October of 2017. Incarcerated survivors report that receiving letters and cards from the public decreases their risk of violence while incarcerated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that social connectedness, which letter-writing builds, is a protective factor against violence.
While progress has occurred in the areas of recognizing and addressing domestic and sexual violence, this support often comes to a screeching halt when a survivor defends themselves or their children from an abuser’s violence. It is important to understand that incarcerated survivors, especially incarcerated women, are overwhelmingly survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This violence typically plays a significant role in their incarceration. This is especially true for women of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, and members from other oppressed and marginalized communities. One study in New York’s Rikers Island found the majority of survivors interviewed reported engaging in illegal activity directly in response to experiences of abuse, the threat of violence, or coercion by a male partner. Survivors need healing, not punishment.
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